When this blog first began, nearly three years ago, a new Muppet movie was just a dream, a boogeyman whose existence was whispered about at camp fires and sleepovers. But since that time the hope materialized into a serious possibility, thanks to Jason Segel, and then a reality, and then a living, breathing motion picture that we saw twice in theaters. And now it’s available for home consumption on both DVD and Blu-Ray (and we assume digital download). What was once a mere figment of our imagination, a fantasy, is now something that we can and will have on our bookshelf, taking its place in the Muppets movie cannon next to The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan. And the production of The Muppets, its critical appreciation and relative commercial success, did equal a comeback for Kermit and friends. Maybe not quite a phoenix rising from the ashes, but a legitimate return to the public consciousness, and, more importantly, proof enough that Jim Henson’s creations are once again a viable commodity. Which means, then, that a sequel is the natural next step. That was the plan all along.
Tag Archives: Walter
If you had a chance (or the misfortune) to read our tweets from last night’s Oscars telecast, you’ll know that we were very sore that Bret McKenzie was not given a chance to perform his Oscar-nominated “Man or Muppet” (and one would assume a theoretical performance would include Jason Segel & Walter, if not the Muppet cast), and we took every opportunity to point out an uninspiring three minutes that could have been better spent with a Muppet musical interlude (which, basically, was any three minutes in the show, save for Tom Hanks’ presentation and Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis’s own musical interlude). And, despite the hope that we foolishly granted ourselves in our most private moments, the Muppet contribution to the show was limited to a short bit with Kermit & Miss Piggy introducing Cirque Du Soleil (so you had time for those freaks and not the Muppets? C’mon). So with that you could consider the chance to do something fun and different and special officially thwarted, in favor of the same old pabulum (and the new old Billy Crystal).
BUT, despite all that, the Muppets did deliver two of the night’s best moments. First, of course, was Bret McKenzie’s triumph (although, let’s be honest, if the song from Rio won, we should just pack it in. That would have been worse that Meryl Streep’s victory (which, by the way, was a win for lazy white people everywhere)), winning the Oscar for a film that deserved much more acclaim and recognition than it received. The second moment was McKenzie’s gracious, earnest acceptance speech, and, more to the point, Jason Segel’s reaction when McKenzie offered his gratitude to Jim Henson. That moment of pure joy could warm the coldest heart.
We can’t find that clip online (thanks a lot, the man!), but this almost approximates that joy and innocence:
On a related note, for the better part of the last year we’ve been slogging our way through Michael Davis’ Street Gang, the wonderfully detailed and thoroughly researched history of Sesame Street. Not surprisingly, we found the most engaging excerpts to be those that touched on Jim Henson’s contribution to the show, and, in a macabre way, the description of his passing and his now legendary memorial service. We finally came to this event towards the end of the book as we were riding along the E train yesterday; at one point the doors open, we look up and what should we see? Jim Henson, surrounded by his greatest creations, a poster for their exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. It was a bit eerie, but even more it felt special, serendipitous. And, then, mere hours later, McKenzie invokes Henson’s name, providing another fitting tribute to a man who remains an inspiration to so many of us.
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.
Oh, and Lady Gaga, apparently. Whatevs.
Here’s a preview of what the Muppet-Rudd collaboration might look like:
Apparently Walter agrees.