In March 2009, I reported the following:
Robert Downey Jr., Tina Fey and Ben Stiller will be lending their voice talents to DreamWorks’ Master Mind CGI feature scheduled for 2010. IMDb.com describes the film’s plot as a “satirical take on superhero movies, in which a notorious villain loses his oomph after he accidentally kills his nemesis.”
According to both IMDb and an August 18th article on People.com, the new working title for the project (currently listed in post-production) is
Oobermind Megaind and is slated for a November 2010 release. Furthermore, neither Downey nor Stiller are listed as being involved, and People states that Downey (who canceled due to schedule conflicts) has been replaced with Will Farrell as the voice of Oobermind MegaMind. Jonah Hill appears to have replaced Stiller as the voice of a reluctant new superhero named Titan, while Fey voices a news reporter named Roxanne Ritchi.
People also reports that Pitt is co-starring in something of a cameo role as the voice of superhero “Metro Man” against Farrell’s villainous
I discovered the People article via The Animation Guild blog which offered some amusing and ironic commentary on a report by The LA Business Journal which seemed surprised that the announcement of the Pitt, Farrell and Hill celebrity voice casting was ineffective in helping to boost DreamWorks’ stock.
It’s something I’ve already discussed here on a few occasions, but I enjoyed TAG’s tongue-in-cheek sarcasm in their response:
Here’s the thing about big-name, celebrity voices: Sometimes they work out wonderfully well, and they are often useful in promoting a high profile animated feature.
But are they necessary? Do they add to the bottom line?
Ed Asner was a fine choice for Up, but face it. Pixar didn’t choose him because he’s tabloid catnip or a marquee name like Mr. Pitt. They chose him because he was right for the role. (And Disney seems to be doing okay in the big grosses department as regards Up.)
I’m not saying using mega stars is necessarily a bad way to go, but [Pitt] didn’t provide a lot of added value the last time he performed a voice role for DreamWorks Animation. This time, I’m sure, will be different.
Update: 2.11.2010 — On Jan. 15th, Movieweb reported on DreamWorks’ 2010 film presentation which mentions that the new title for the film is MegaMind, that David Cross will voice MegaMind’s assistant, and that Ben Stiller is producing. Movieweb also describes the action of the 10-minute preview and interviews Jonah Hill about his character.
Related post: 7.07.2009 — Trend Changing in Celebrity Voice Casting?