By Wayne Harada
Mars and singer Janelle Monae are the latest to join the cast, directed by Carlos Saidanha.
Though Mars’ voice (the end title song, "It Will Rain") was heard in the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” movie, “Rio 2” will be his first voice-over endeavor. He got the part of Roberto, the ex-boyfriend and childhood friend of the bird character Jewell (voiced by Anne Hathaway) after director Saidanha saw him in his “Saturday Night Live” performance and tapped the singer-composer to also provide new songs. Mars’ bandmate Philip Lawrence, from the Smeezingtons group, also will be heard.
The flock includes Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, Tracy Morgan, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno in a range of colorful characters ranging from birds to frogs, so Mars will be in good company.
The musical soundtrack score, heavy on Brazilian samba rhythms, will be released by Atlantic Records with producers-composers Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown reprising their roles from the original film, joined by composer John Powell.