Chicken Run 2 director reveals why Mel Gibson was recast for sequel

The crew behind the upcoming sequel to the animated classic “Chicken Run” shook up the voices of several characters, including key rooster Rocky, replacing Mel Gibson with Zachary Levi. Now, director Sam Fell is sharing his reasons for this decision.

Why Mel Gibson Isn’t Back in Chicken Run’s Follow-Up

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fell explained that the directorial team chose not to include Gibson for this upcoming release, aptly titled “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.” Gibson gave voice to the cocky rooster Rocky in the original “Chicken Run” movie. For the sequel, fans will hear the vocal talents of “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi stepping into Rocky’s role instead. The decision got fans speculating about its connection to Gibson’s recent controversy. However, Fell clarifies that the reason mainly revolves around the character’s evolution, rather than backstage dramas.

“Mel was a fabulous choice for Rocky when he was this playboy rooster. But now Rocky’s more vulnerable. It’s more Ginger’s movie, so his role is different,” said Fell.

While Gibson’s controversies might not be the reason for his departure, the project has not been without other controversies. Some fans have raised concerns about Zachary Levi’s recent headlines, questioning if he is the right choice for Rocky’s character. Fell, however, remains unworried.

“No, not really. I must admit I don’t watch social media too closely. But Zachary has got a great voice and great sense of humor. He brings Rocky to life in a great way,” Fell defended.

Meet the New Chicken Run Crew

Apart from Gibson, Julia Sawalha, who originally voiced Ginger, will not be heard in the sequel too. Instead, Thandiwe Newton has stepped into this role, sharing the stage with Zachary Levi. The ensemble cast extends to ‘The Last of Us’ starlet Bella Ramsey, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays, Jane Horrocks, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, and Nick Mohammed. Taking over from the late Benjamin Whitrow is David Bradley, voicing the character Fowler.

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A Glance at Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

“Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” sees the return of Ginger and her flock, this time on a peaceful island sanctuary, far from the dangers of Tweedy’s farm. Everything seems to be in place when Ginger and Rocky hatch a little chick, Molly. However, looming threats on the mainland demand their attention, pushing them to risk their newfound freedom.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Directed by Sam Fell and penned by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” is ready to have its world premiere at the 67th London Film Festival on 14 October 2023. The general audience will get to enjoy it from the comfort of their homes, hitting Netflix on 15 December 2023.

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