Mel Gibson’s Role in ‘Chicken Run’ Sequel Will Be Recast

Aardman and Netflix will be looking for a new actor to voice hero Rocky

Chicken Run

Though a sequel to the Aardman stop-motion animated film “Chicken Run” is in the works, one of the original film’s voice actors Mel Gibson will not return, two individuals with knowledge of the production told TheWrap.

Because the “Chicken Run” sequel will go into production next year, one individual explains it’s too early to know about voice casting for an animated film, but Gibson, who voiced the character Rocky in the film from 2000, is not expected to be asked back for the sequel.

It’s also unclear if any of the other voice actors from the original film, which also included Julia Sawalha, Phil Daniels, Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall, will return for the sequel.

The film, which will be distributed by Netflix and will go into production next year, will pick up the story of the chickens who pulled off an escape from Tweedy’s farm in the original film where Ginger (voiced in the original by Sawalha) has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky (originally Gibson) hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk — this time, they’re breaking in!

Sam Fell (“Flushed Away,” “ParaNorman”) will direct the new film from a script by Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’ Farrell and Rachel Tunnard; Nick Park, creator of Aardman hits like “Wallace and Gromit” and “Shaun the Sheep,” will have a consulting role in the film.

Steve Pegram and Leyla Hobart will produce, while Peter Lord, Carla Shelley and Karey Kirkpatrick will return as executive producers.

The 2000 “Chicken Run” grossed nearly $225 million at the worldwide box office and remains the top-grossing stop-motion animated hit of all time.

Gibson made headlines this week after Winona Ryder called out homophobic and anti-Semitic comments the actor allegedly made back in 1995. Gibson, via his representative, said that Ryder is lying.