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“We improvised a ton,” he said. “I really, really loved it.”

He did motion studies with the animation team, which incorporated Mr. Reilly’s gestures and movements into the look of the massive-handed, 9-foot-tall, 643-pound Ralph.

“I was like, ‘This is how he gets up from a chair. It’s like an eight-step process. It’s kind of like an elephant raising itself off the ground,’” the actor recalled, adding that he recognized himself in the character.

“Every single gesture and expression that a character makes in an animated movie means hundreds of hours, if not thousands of hours of work from a bunch of people,” Mr. Reilly said, “so I was really happy that they made the commitment to do those little subtle things to really finish out the character in a really detailed way like that.”

The filmmakers appreciated Mr. Reilly’s contributions so much that the actor earned a story credit.

“It turned into this dream job,” the actor said. “If you’re going to have an avatar or something like that follow you for the rest of your life, it might as well be something that you really feel like you put a lot of heart into. That it’s not just a toy. It’s a project that you really believe in.”

‘Catching Fire’ director to helm ‘Mockingjay’ films

The odds are ever in Francis Lawrence’s favor.

Lionsgate announced Thursday that “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” filmmaker also will direct “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay— Part 1” and “Part 2.”.

Mr. Lawrence previously directed the Will Smith postapocalyptic thriller “I Am Legend” and stepped in to direct “The Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” after director Gary Ross departed the franchise.

“The Hunger Games” films star Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as child tributes that battle to the death in a dystopian future. The movies are based on the novels by Suzanne Collins.

The original “Hunger Games” film was released earlier this year. “Catching Fire” is scheduled to debut Nov. 22, 2013, followed by “Mockingjay— Part 1” on Nov. 21, 2014, and “Mockingjay— Part 2” on Nov. 20, 2015.

Judge dismisses case against Spears’ parents

A judge has dismissed a case by Britney Spears’ former confidante that accused the singer’s mother of libeling him and accused Miss Spears’ caretakers of failing to pay him a portion of her fortune.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera ruled Thursday that an attorney for Sam Lutfi hadn’t proven any of his claims in a case that centered on events before the singer’s public meltdown more than four years ago.

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