TV’s Earl is Underdog

The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Jason Lee, star of hit NBC comedy My Name is Earl, has been cast as the voice of bumbling canine superhero Underdog in Spyglass Ent. and Walt Disney Pictures’ live-action adaptation of the classic cartoon.

From 1974 to 1973, actor/comedian Wally Cox provided the voice of Underdog and his mild-mannered alter ego, Shoeshine Boy, in the animated series. Underdog always spoke in rhyme while rushing to the rescue of Sweet Polly Purebred and foiling the fiendish plots of mad scientist Simon Bar Sinister.

Directed by Frederik Du Chau (Racing Stripes), the Underdog movie will have the powerful pooch adopted by a 12-year-old boy, who helps him protect Polly and the good citizens of Capitol City from Sinister, who will be played by Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent). Like Warner Bros.’ Racing Stripes, the big-screen Underdog will employ CG to make a real dog talk, rather than casting a computer-generated character in the title role a la Scooby-Doo.

Serving as producers for Spyglass Ent. are Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman, along with Jay Polstein. Overseeing the project for Disney are Nina Jacobson, Brigham Taylor and LouAnne Brickhouse. Exec producer is Eric Ellenbogen, president of MediaClassic Media, which owns rights to the animated Underdog property. Cartoon Network’s Bob Higgins also serves as exec producer, and Erin Stam is overseeing for Spyglass.