Here is some news that might not (shock emoji) you, but should leave you feeling (happy emoji).
T.J. Miller has signed on for a leading role in the animated film EmojiMovie: Express Yourself.
(Yes, there is actually an emoji movie.)
Sony Animation tweeted the news on Sunday, a.k.a. World Emoji Day, and included a gag video of his audition. (Miller’s most famous audition tape, of course, is his one for Yogi Bear, filmed with a real bear.) You can see it all below.
Miller, who starred on the big screen earlier this year in Deadpool, will voice the role of Gene, who is described as an exuberant, optimistic emoji that was supposed to be a “meh” emoji, just like his parents. However, he was born with a glitch that gives him multiple expressions that are out of his control. Does he yearn to be normal like the other emojis? He does. But will he later discover that the ability to express oneself is the greatest gift one can be given? (Praying emoji.)
At Sony’s presentation at CinemaCon this spring, Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson hinted of the movie’s plot: “Inside your phone, there’s a secret world,” she said, “and we enter through the text app where we discover Emoji Valley, where the industrious Emoji live and work.”
Miller knows from tech-themed and alt-universe projects: He plays Pied Piper investor and dubious incubator Erlich Bachman on HBO comedy Silicon Valley, and he’s currently filming Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One, playing the part of bounty hunter i-R0k. He also does oodles of voice acting, having lent his pipes to Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon, Gravity Falls, High School USA, and, sure, various Mucinex commercials as Mr. Mucus.
Set for release next August, the film is being directed by Anthony Leondis (Igor), writen by Leondis and Eric Siegel (Men at Work), and produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, the former production president of Sony Pictures Animation who was also an executive producer of Silver Linings Playbook.