Alvin!!!!! Lee pops for 'Chipmunks'

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Jason Lee has signed on to star in Fox 2000 Pictures and 20th Century Fox Animation's live-action/CGI animated "Alvin and the Chipmunks." Lee will play the Chipmunks' dad, Dave Seville, while chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore will be computer generated.

The project, one that has long been gestating within Fox's ranks, marks the first to move forward under the leadership of Fox Animation's new head, Vanessa Morrison. The studio has set a Dec. 14 release date.

Tim Hill, who directed "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" for Fox, will helm the project, based on a screenplay from veteran TV writer Jon Vitti. "Alvin" enters production at month's end.

"Alvin" will center on Seville and the chipmunks, focusing on the trio's origins as singing sensations. Janice Karman and Ross Bagdasarian Jr., the son of "Alvin" creator Ross Bagdasarian Sr., will produce. Karen Rosenfelt and Michele Imperato Stabile will executive produce.

Erin Lindsey will oversee for Fox 2000. John Cohen, who originally brought the project into Fox Animation in 2004, will supervise for Fox Animation.

Rhythm & Hues is handling the special effects.

"Alvin" marks Lee's second film role in an adaptation of a popular animated TV show. The actor, who stars on NBC's "My Name Is Earl," recently signed on to voice the title character in "Underdog," the live-action adaptation for Disney/Spyglass Entertainment.

He is represented by UTA, manager Gay Ribisi and attorney Ken Richman.
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