…with the news that the Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made, initially slated to arrive on Christmas 2011, has been pushed up a month to Thanksgiving (yes, we admit that this news is a little outdated, but we’d be remiss not to mention it at all). So rejoice this Christmas, Muppet fans, knowing that a new, fantastic, Muppet movie is less than a year away.
In very much related news, here’s Jason Segel on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon describing his first encounter with Kermit:
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We imagine we’d react the same way.
Anyone know if Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving next year? That would certainly qualify as a miracle.
It dawned on us a couple of weeks back when we caught Forgetting Sarah Marshall on TV (and cemented this past weekend when we suffered through The Muppet Christmas Carol on The Hub), that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jason Segel, as he’s almost single-handedly saved the Muppets.
The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made casting news just doesn’t seem to stop. Last week were ecstatic to report that Paul Rudd is on board (along with Jon Krasinksi, Ed Helms and Jack Black among others), now comes word that Billy Crystal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Alan Arkin have agreed to cameo (although, if we had our choice of Alans we’d prefer Alan Alda. Actually, our first pick would be Bill Hader as Alan Alda. But with Hader’s Apatow/Segel ties – roles in Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express and Forgetting Sarah Marshall– it’s probably only a matter of time before he’s on board).
But with the deluge of casting news – it seems like nearly all of young Hollywood is going to pop up in the film – there remains one name we’ve yet to see, one actor who would truly make The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made the greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made. We’re talking, of course, of…
Charles Grodin, DUH!
Before all is said and done, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Jack McBrayer, Tony Danza, Chi McBride, Michael J. Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Scott Wolf, Tom Hanks, Tina Yothers, Alan Thicke Jason Bateman, Bobby DeNiro and a host of others might pop up in the film. But, Grodin, that would be the big get, and he’d really bring this thing full circle.
Well, there’s more than just Muppet movie casting news these days. No, what we’re getting now are actual photos from The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made, and not just promo shots of Jason Segel and the gang, but photos from the set. Behold, the Henson Company Studios in Hollywood transformed into Muppet Studios, a once thriving studio that has fallen into disrepair. It’ll be Segel’s character Gary, and his roommate, the new Muppet Walter, who ostensibly rally the Muppets to reunite and revive the studio.
(one of our greatest regrets from our time living in LA is not trying to take a tour Henson Studios, or at the very least stopping at the gate on La Brea Ave and attempting to bribe the guard with pepperoni pizza).
It’s official! As we, and everyone else on the Internet, predicted, Paul Rudd is joining his Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You Man co-star Jason Segel in The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made (but we maintain we called it first). As soon as word leaked the Segel was writing the movie with his Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller, we began speculating which members of the Apatow-verse would be joining in, and Rudd was at the top of the wish list. When we learned that Apatow-charter Rashida Jones and comedian of the moment Zach Galifiniakis were also slated to appear, Rudd seemed like an inevitability. And, now, according to Production Weekly, it’s a reality, with Rudd on board to voice the new “anything Muppet” Walter, who, as we previously noted, will portray Segel’s roommate in the movie. And this, even without any direct Judd Apatow involvement, cements The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made‘s status on the Judd Apatow Chart.
But that’s not all! Production Weekly also reports that fellow Apatow-charters Jack Black and Jane Lynch are in, as is Rashida Jones’ former TV flame John Krasinksi (who we suggested over a year ago might make for a great Muppet), Krasinki’s Office co-star (as well as Galifiniakis’ Hangover castmate) Ed Helms, Krasinski and Helm’s NBC Thursday night comedy brother Donald Glover, and Danny Trejo, who cameo’d in the Apatow-produced Anchorman (and Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, whom we’re having trouble connecting to the rest of the cast). So in a word: WOW.
We assume. Because for the second time in three issues Entertainment Weekly features a Muppet a full color Muppet photo across two pages. The first appeared in the recent “Reunions” issue, a Muppet Show cast photo, and the new issue of the magazine offers the first glimpse of the gang (along with Jason Segel) in their upcoming return to the big screen, The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made.
(click to enlarge)
The image also presents our first look at Walter, a new tech-savvy, young Muppet who reportedly plays Segel’s roommate in the film. He could also possibly be Guy Smiley’s illegitimate son.
One concerning omission in the photo: Pepe the Prawn is nowhere to be found. He doesn’t appear in the first photo, but that was appropriate because he joined the Muppets many years after the Muppet Show (for the Muppet Show redux Muppets Tonight), but he’s arguably been the most popular Muppet of the past 10 years or so, and the only new Muppet since the Muppet Show to truly become a core member of the Muppet troupe. It’s probably just an innocent mistake, but until we see another two-page spread in the Christmas issue, we’ll be holding our breath.
Okay, not quite (as far as we know, Fozzie is NOT holding out), but the word from Mr. Galifianakis himself is that he will be popping up in The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made. This comes on the heels of the news that Rashida Jones, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper are joining the cast of the Jason Segel/Nicholas Stoller penned film. Still waiting on Paul Rudd, but we can only imagine it’s only a matter of time. And now that Galifiankis is on board, this opens up the whole Todd Phillips corner of the Judd Apatow Chart. Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Tom Green, they are all now in play.
But, just in case Fozzie does decide to play same hardball, what do you think?
In last week’s Entertainment Weekly (on stands now) the Muppets, as the cast of the Muppet Show, reunited to talk about their old show, as well as, most importantly, their upcoming return to the big screen with Jason Segel. To be fair, it’s not like the Muppets needed to be reunited, as they’ve been pretty much working non-stop for 40 years (we’re also not sure there was any compelling reason to bring the casts of The West Wing, Will & Grace and Alias back together after like 4 months apart, but that’s a different complaint for a different blog), but any national magazine publicity is good national magazine publicity.
(click to enlarge, so you can see how they managed to sneak Mickey Mouse in the background)
And read the brief interview with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and Gonzo here.
In things-that-I-love-meeting-other-things-that-I-love news, reports indicate that Rashida Jones is close to joining Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s forthcoming Muppet motion picture, The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made (in addition, the adorable Amy Adams and the cute Chris Cooper are also in talks to come on board). Now that Jones appears to be in, we can only assume that Paul Rudd will not be far behind. And when you have Paul Rudd and Rashida Jones there’s a pretty good chance that you’re eventually going to see Judd Apatow and at least one member of The State. Rudd, we all know, is one of the key faces of Apatowian comedy, as well as frequent a collaborator with State members David Wain and Ken Marino (see: Role Models, Diggers). Jones, in addition to appearing in the Apatow-esque I Love You Man with Segel and Rudd (plus State member Tom Lennon), had a small role in Apatow’s masterwork Freaks and Geeks, and has shown up in State related productions Stella, The Ten and Wainy Days. So from there it’s only a matter of time before Jones, Rudd, Segel, Apatow, The State and the Muppets all team up. We already know that The State and the Muppets have a history together:
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One complaint: Sources say that Jones would portray an ABC exec in the movie. Between her roles on The Office and The Social Network, we think we’ve seen enough of her in business attire. No more blazers!