James Marsden joins 'I Hop' comedy

Actor will star opposite Russell Brand in live-action/CG film

James Marsden has signed on to star opposite Russell Brand in "I Hop," a live-action/CG-animated hybrid comedy from Illumination Entertainment and Universal.

Tim Hill, who directed the hybrid "Alvin and the Chipmunks," is pushing his resume into hipper territory with this tale of an out-of-work slacker (Marsden) who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny (voiced by Brand) and must take him in as he recovers. As Fred struggles with the world's worst houseguest, both will learn what it takes to finally grow up.

Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch are writing the screenplay. Illumination's Christopher Meledandri and John Cohen are producing.

Marsden, who last appeared in Richard Kelly's "The Box," has two movies in the can. He appears in Neil LaBute's remake of the British ensemble comedy "Death at a Funeral," which opens in April, and then stars in "Straw Dogs," Rod Lurie's remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller.

Marsden is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
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