A new animated film with a song-competition theme has been announced at Universal, with Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey set to star as a theater-owning koala named Buster Moon, according to USA Today.
The film, called Sing, has a highly talented cast that will also feature voice acting from Reese Witherspoon, John C. Reilly, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly and Taron Egerton, many of which have had more than a few chances to show off their singing voices elsewhere.
Set in a world inhabited entirely by animals, the feature will focus on Buster Moon’s struggle to keep his once-grand theater in business, ultimately hosting the world’s greatest singing competition in an attempt to bring in the big bucks.
“Buster is a salesman and a survivor, eternally optimistic and someone who will do anything to make sure ‘the show goes on,’” said McConaughey of his character.
There will be a lot of music in the film, which is set to feature bits and pieces of more than 85 different songs. McConaughey says he has even cooked up a pump-up song to rival his age-inappropriate, cocaine-fueled chest thump song from Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street.
Each celebrity — except for John C. Reilly, who will play a literal black sheep — has their own singing character, with Macfarlane playing a con artist mouse, Witherspoon a mama pig, Johansson a punk rock porcupine, and Kelly and Egerton portraying a shy elephant and a mafia-tied gorilla.
The family-friendly film will aim to be the premium animated release during next year’s holiday season, with a premiere set for December 2016. Given the amount of A-list talent they have on board, it would be pretty shocking if it wasn’t able to secure that top spot.
Sing is being created by Illuminations Entertainment, which has had previous box office successes with the Despicable Me and Minions releases, along with writing and direction from Garth Jennings (Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy).