Netflix has begun assembling its cast for the upcoming live-action and animated limited series based on William Joyce’s Ollie’s Odyssey, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Lost Ollie will star Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Jake Johnson (New Girl), and Kesler Talbot (50 States of Fright) for the live-action portions with Jonathan Groff (Hamilton), Mary J. Blige (Power Book II: Ghost), and Tim Blake Nelson (Watchmen) leading the voice cast.
Picked up in October, the series adaptation on Joyce’s book details the story of a lost toy on a journey across the country to find the boy who lost him. Groff will voice Ollie, the toy rabbit who loses his way home one day in a re-sale shop. His owner, Billy, will be played by Talbot who embarks on a mission to find Ollie. Rodriguez is slated to play Billy’s mother, Sharon, while Johnson will play his father. Adding more toys to Ollie’s quest, Blige will voice a teddy bear named Rosy who becomes Ollie’s friend during his lonely trek back to Billy. Finishing off the voice cast, Nelson will voice Zozo, a clown doll who aids Ollie in finding Billy.
The four-episode limited series was created by Shannon Tindle (Coraline) and will be executive produced by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) and Josh Barry (I Am Not Okay With This). Being in the works for more than four years, Lost Ollie serves as one of the first projects Netflix director of family series Teddy Biaselli worked on after joining the Netflix team. He wrote of the story, “I saw in it the universal story of loss that all of us, no matter how old, could relate to,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
Leads Rodriguez and Johnson are most well known for their roles as Jane Villanueva in The CW’s Jane the Virgin and Nick Miller in Fox’s New Girl, respectively. The former is represented by WME and Jackoway Austen while the latter is represented by UTA and Jackoway Austen. A premiere date for Lost Ollie is yet to be released.