I was excited when I heard a new Muppets movie was in the works. I became more excited when I heard it would be a musical. And then I became ecstatic when I learned that Bret McKenzie would be the film’s music supervisor. My elation came from being a huge Flight of the Conchords fan. McKenzie is one-half of the folk-music-comedy duo (the other half being Jemaine Clement), and through their albums and HBO series, they’ve shown they can easily play with any music genre.
Earlier this week, I got to speak with McKenzie over the phone and we discussed his process on creating the songs for The Muppets, his musical and comic inspirations the possibility of a song from the movie being nominated for an Oscar, his work on The Hobbit, his future musical endeavors, a ukulele orchestra, and more. Hit the jump to check out the interview.
Among the many highlights in The Muppets, the songs are amazing. We can thank Bret McKenzie, one of the premier comedic songwriters working today as one half of Flight of the Conchords, for much of that: he contributed several songs to the soundtrack, including certain Oscar nominee “Life’s a Happy Song.” McKenzie is on the promotional circuit to discuss his excellent work on the movie, where he talked about two other projects of interest. McKenzie has a small role as an elf in The Hobbit, and we’ll get to that. First, though, a Flight of the Conchords movie? Said McKenzie:
“We’re gonna try and do a movie. We just need a story.”
Yes, please. More after the jump.
Not only have Flight of the Conchords officially landed, they’ve made quite the imprint on recent pop culture. The musically comedic duo has brought their unique style of self-deprecating humor all the way from New Zealand over to the states. They’ve had a successful half-hour HBO comedy special, which ultimately led to two full seasons of their own television series on the same network. They’ve won a Grammy and are continuing to watch their careers skyrocket, including an appearance on the upcoming season of The Simpsons (which is a sure sign that you’ve made it). On top of all that, they have recently released Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection on DVD. Hit the jump to check out my full review of this mutli-disc DVD set:
Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) will return to New Zealand (“Take Your Mum”) for the romantic comedy Love Birds. According to Deadline, Darby will play a man who nurses a bird back to health as a way to deal with his recent break-up. He then meets a kooky vet played by Golden Globe-winner Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky). New Zealand (“Why not?”) director Paul Murphy will re-unite with his Second Hand Wedding screenwriter Nick Ward for the project.
I’m a big fan of Darby’s and I’m surprised he hasn’t broken out bigger post-Conchords. While I don’t know how much a film from New Zealand (“It’s not going anywhere”) will appeal to stateside audiences, I’ll definitely be checking it out since he was fantastic not only on Flight of the Conchords but also in Yes Man.
UPDATE: According to Heat Vision, Bobin has chosen to side with the Muppets. A wise decision.
If you’re going to direct a Muppet movie, you need an eye for absurdist comedy and an ear for silly musical numbers. Lucky for James Bobin, due to his experience as co-creator of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, he has both in spades. Bobin directed more than half of the Conchords episodes, and is now being lured to the big screen for his next project. According to Vulture, his calling may be the Jason Segel-scripted The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made.
It may be a match made in heaven, but it’s not quite a done deal; find out why after the jump.
It’s a sad day for fans of peace, love, folk, and for the citizens of New Zealand as Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement along with co-creator James Bobin announced that there will not be a third season of Flight of the Conchords. While the group had remained silent if not unenthusiastic about the possibility of a third season, it looks like they’ve decided to move on. Here’s the official depressing news from their official website:
Bret, Jemaine and James (co-creator/director) said “we’ve noticed the less we say about the future of the show, the more people want to talk about it, so in an effort to reverse this trend we are today announcing that we won’t be returning for a 3rd season. We’re very proud of the two seasons we made and we like the way the show ended. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make the show and also everyone who watched it. While the characters Bret and Jemaine will no longer be around, the real Bret and Jemaine will continue to exist.
I imagine this will seriously hurt New Zealand tourism despite their great advertisements as seen on the wall of Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby). It also hurts the many fans of the show. However, I suppose since the real Bret and Jemaine still exist we can at least hope for more albums from the duo.
The Emmy Nominations were announced this morning and there were many surprises and omissions. On the surprise front, “Family Guy” and “Flight of the Conchords” both got nominations for outstanding comedy for the first time. On the other hand, many long-running series were overlooked, including the spectacular last season of “Battlestar Galactica”. More after the jump: