12/17/2012 05:35 pm ET

Ricky Gervais & 'The Muppets': Comedian Set To Star In Upcoming Sequel

The Muppets are reportedly getting a new human friend. According to THR, Ricky Gervais has been tapped to star in the upcoming sequel to "The Muppets."

Gervais will star alongside Ty Burrell ("Modern Family"). According to THR, Gervais and Burrell will play two of the three main humans in the film. Reports surfaced early this year that Jason Segel, who led the first film, will not be returning for the sequel. Burrell's role was initially marked for Christoph Waltz but the scheduling didn't work out.

After the story broke, Gervais tweeted the news to his followers.

Gervais has a history with "The Muppets." He was set to make an appearance in the original "Muppets" movie, but his scenes were reportedly cut. Gervais wrote on his blog at the time, "You may have heard I'm doing a cameo in the new Muppet Movie. Should be a laugh. I'm in L.A. anyway for the Globes, so ... convenient. Hope my mate Elmo is around that day." He became "mates" with Elmo when he sang the puppet a lullaby on "Sesame Street" in 2009. The 51-year-old comic is also known for his sharp tongue and unfiltered opinions.

Production for the sequel to "The Muppets" is set to begin in January.

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