The 20th Century Fox film, directed by Mark Waters, has already gone into production. Carrey is cast as a high-powered New York businessman whose life is turned upside down when he inherits six penguins.
Lansbury will play Mrs. Van Gundy, the owner of a local tavern that Mr. Popper (Carrey) wants to buy.
Sean Anders, John Morris and Jared Stern are adapting the script from the book.
Most recently seen on Broadway in A Little Night Music, Lansbury won Tony Awards for Mame, Dear World, the 1975 revival of Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and the 2009 revival of Blithe Spirit. She has been Oscar-nominated three times, for "Gaslight," "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Manchurian Candidate," and is also remembered for playing Jessica Fletcher on the popular detective series "Murder, She Wrote" and for voicing Mrs. Potts in the classic Disney film "Beauty and the Beast," among numerous other credits.
"Mr. Popper's Penguins" will mark Lansbury's first screen appearance since "Nanny McPhee" in 2005. The film is expected to be released Aug. 12, 2011.