Po has faced a great many opponents in his day, but romance hasn’t really been one of them. In Kung Fu Panda 3, Jack Black’s clumsy protagonist will meet his match in the form of Mei Mei, an elusive, ribbon-dancing panda who falls head over heels for our martial arts expert – we use expert rather loosely in this case. It was a role set to be played by Pitch Perfect‘s Rebel Wilson, though due to production being extended, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the actress has been forced to bow out of the project.
As a result, the mantle of the franchise’s first female panda lead will fall to Almost Famous star Kate Hudson. It’s still unclear exactly why Wilson couldn’t remain on board Kung Fu Panda 3, though common logic would dictate that the actress had her hands tied with another project in development.
Still, it’s a rarity that animations, who would so often have voicework finished and complete long before the actual animation process begins, would replace a leading member five months prior to release. Whatever the reason, Kate Hudson took to Instagram to seal the deal.
Hudson joins an impressive voice cast for the animated threequel, as series regulars Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman are joined by Bryan Cranston and Whiplash star J.K. Simmons, who is on board to play the film’s nefarious villain.
Previously slated for a release in December of this year, Kung Fu Panda 3 has made the wise move to avoid Star Wars: The Force Awakens by releasing on January 29 and March 18 in North America and the UK, respectively.
When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter