Yes, I’m absolutely over the moon that Disney have set James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller to writing a new Muppet movie. Hannah reported the news a couple of days ago and the first place I saw it was here on Bleeding Cool, and I reacted accordingly.
But there was a little twist. At that time, it was said that Jason Segel, the last movie’s co-writer and star, and the man who played such a crucial role in getting the Muppets back on the big screen, was not going to be working on the script:
Between promoting Five Year Engagement, work on Knocked Up sequel This Is 40 and presumably another season of How I Met Your Mother, there’s just no time left in the day [for Segel] to do proper justice to a Muppets sequel… On a lighter note, apparently there is still a chance that Segel will join the cast again once more if the sequel goes ahead.
And now that chance seems to have evaporated.
Collider have spoken to Segel during the junket for Jeff Who Lives at Home, and he gave them a pretty clear picture of his non-involvement in the film:
It’s true but it’s totally amicable. My goal was to bring the Muppets back and I did that leaving them in very good hands, my writing partner and James Bobin the director. I did what I set out to do, and now I wanna pursue more human-related projects… All I wanted to do was to set the stage for them to do whatever they wanted. I’m sure I’ll return in some capacity here and there, but that was half a decade of my life. Five years of hard work. I’m ready for a little puppet break.
So, no Gary for the next Muppets movie – which actually makes some sense, confirming his break from Walter and cementing their “arcs” in the previous film. I guess we can also expect not to see Amy Adams as Mary either, then, though I’m absolutely convinced that Walter will be staying around in a fairly major capacity. And I’d stack good money on the chances of Bret McKenzie coming back to write some more songs.
I’m not sure where the next film can go, and I’m going to have to wait for Bobin and Stoller to surprise me – hopefully in a good way. This recent movie (which is still in cinemas in the UK, incidentally, so catch it fast before it’s too late) was a perfect reaction to the Muppets’ relative absence in recent years. But what happens now that they’re back? What’s the story now?
You know, something doesn’t quite sit right with me about Segel being absent from the project. I can’t help but think there’s more to this story than meets the eye. I wonder if we’ll ever get to know?