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‘Frozen’s’ Josh Gad still set to play Ebert, with new director

Your columnist at JFK Airport with actor Josh Gad.

It wasn’t until we deplaned at JFK Airport in New York late Saturday night that I realized Josh Gad was on my flight from Los Angeles. The always gregarious actor shared a few thoughts about his recent doings.

An original cast member in the Tony Award-winning “The Book of Mormon,” he explained he was in the Big Apple to attend a special fifth anniversary performance of the long-running hit musical. While in town he also met with musical mega-pros Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas”) and Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Godspell”), as they are collaborating on a new musical show.

Gad stressed he’s still going to play the late great Roger Ebert in the upcoming film planned about the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun-Times film critic’s relationship with Russ Meyer as they created “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” in the 1960s. Will Ferrell is still attached to play Meyer.

Gad is hopeful that John Carney (“Once”) will direct the film, now that original helmer Michael Winterbottom has exited the project over “creative differences” with the film’s producers.

The actor, who voiced Olaf in the mega-hit animated film “Frozen,” also revealed he had just seen “Zootopia” before leaving L.A. and gave it a huge rave, saying, “I loved it. … It was so much fun.”