Ray Liotta plays real-life mobster Roy Demeo in Ariel Vromen’s crime drama, The Iceman, based on the story of notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) whose career prospects expand when Demeo offers him the opportunity to earn a living as a mob enforcer. The role marks the second time in 30 years that Liotta has played a real-life mobster since his acclaimed performance in Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic, Goodfellas.
At the film’s recent press day, Liotta talked about getting back into that world again, why he likes playing pretend, how he researched his larger than life character, what it was like working opposite Michael Shannon, how he’s met real life mobsters, why he was reluctant to play Frank Sinatra in The Rat Pack, and why he tries to avoid typecasting and chooses roles that are diverse and challenging. He also revealed his upcoming projects including playing himself in The Muppets…Again!, a hitman in the crime thriller Pawn, a preacher in The Identical, and a guy cheating on his wife in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Hit the jump to read more:
We now have our first look at Tina Fey’s Russian prison guard character in director James Bobin’s sequel The Muppets…Again!. An image from the set has landed online, revealing Fey’s stern-looking character alongside Kermit decked out in what appears to be a prisoner’s uniform. The story has been described as a caper that finds the Muppet crew in Europe where Kermit is mistaken for his jewel-heisting doppelganger named Constantine. Ricky Gervais is the film’s male lead, Constantine’s best friend, while Ty Burrell plays an antagonistic Interpol agent.
Hit the jump to get a look at Fey in character. The Muppets…Again! opens on March 21, 2014. [Update: Disney has asked us to take the image down, as this was not approved for release.]
The Muppets sequel has been lining up casting for the past couple months by attaching Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, and Ray Liotta to apparently scare the hell out of children. Today, the film’s official title has been revealed: The Muppets…Again! In the film, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets confused with his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine. Gervais plays Constantine’s sidekick, Fey plays a Russian prison guard, and Burrell plays an Interpol agent. We previously reported that Gervais was the lead actor, but these roles make it sound like the Muppets are truly front-and-center in the movie. That should please the plenty of fans who didn’t think the Muppets got enough screen time in the previous movie.
Hit the jump to check out a first look at the all-Muppet cast, the press release, and Gervais smuggling Kermit and Miss Piggy. The Muppets…Again! opens March 21, 2014.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this evening. First up, Ray Liotta is the latest actor to join the human cast of The Muppets sequel. Ricky Gervais is set as the lead with Ty Burrell and Tina Fey poised to co-star, and Variety now reports that Liotta is joining the sequel in an unspecified role. This isn’t Liotta’s first time with The Muppets, as he also appeared in 1999’s Muppets from Space. The Europe-set film will be directed by James Bobin and production is scheduled to begin in London this month.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the horror-comedy Kitchen Sink.
As the series finale of 30 Rock looms closer, creator/star Tina Fey is lining up a pretty swell gig for her next project. Heat Vision reports that Fey is in late-stage negotiations to star as the female lead in the upcoming sequel to The Muppets. This is welcome news, as Fey should make for a nice foil opposite male lead Ricky Gervais. The two previously worked together in Gervais’ 2009 film The Invention of Lying, though one assumes their rapport will be more family-friendly while they’re flanked by The Muppets.
Ty Burrell is set to star as the film’s villain, a lazy Interpol inspector, and Fey will apparently be playing a Russian gulag prison guard in the Europe-set follow-up. Given all this prison and law-breaking talk, it sure sounds like our Muppet friends may find themselves behind bars at some point in the film. Production is set to begin later this month in London with returning director James Bobin, who also co-wrote the script alongside The Muppets scribe Nicholas Stoller. Fey will next be seen hosting the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler this coming Sunday, January 13th.
Legendary director Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is exactly what the trailer promises – exciting, violent, satirical, vengeful and shocking – for the entire 2 hour and 45 minute run time. Starring Jamie Foxx as a newly freed slave who sets out with an unlikely partner (dentist-turned-bounty-hunter Christoph Waltz) to find and rescue his wife (Kerry Washington), Django Unchained follows the duo as they track her to a plantation owned by vicious playboy Calvin Candie (a ferocious Leonardo DiCaprio), whose long time family slave, Stephen (an almost unrecognizable Samuel L. Jackson), is also out for blood. Fans of the director will not be disappointed; this film is everything we hoped for and more. Click here to watch three clips and here’s all our previous coverage.
At the New York press day, Waltz talked about how Tarantino chose him for the role, deleted scenes and why he’s happy with the final product, how much changed on set and more. In addition, while Waltz ended up not starring in The Muppet sequel, he revealed that he’s probably doing a cameo and it sounds like it involves dancing with Miss Piggy! Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Well here’s something unexpected. Jason Segel long ago revealed that he wouldn’t be returning for the sequel to 2011’s The Muppets, so it was assumed that Disney would be casting someone else to be the film’s “human lead” opposite the titular Muppets. Ty Burrell was recently cast as the Europe-set film’s antagonist, a lazy Interpol inspector, but Heat Vision now reports that funnyman Ricky Gervais has been cast as the human lead in The Muppets 2.
Details on the role are being kept under wraps, but I can’t imagine it having much similarity to the character played by Segel; Gervais isn’t exactly known for being the sweet, sentimental type. Nicholas Stoller co-wrote the script with James Bobin, who returns to direct. Production is set to begin in January in London, so expect a slew of casting/cameo news in the coming months. The untitled sequel to The Muppets is set for release on December 20, 2013.
Casting is underway on the sequel to Disney’s The Muppets, and Modern Family star Ty Burrell is the first actor to officially sign on to the project. We previously heard that Christoph Waltz was in talks to play an Interpol agent in the Europe-set follow-up, but the actor’s schedule forced him to drop out of the running. Heat Vision reports that Burrell will now take over the role, with The Muppets director James Bobin returning to direct from a script he co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller.
Plot details are under wraps, but we know that the pic is a caper and production is set to begin early next year in London. In addition to Burrell’s Interpol agent, the story also involves a Russian Femme Fatale. We should hear more casting news soon as the production’s start date looms closer. The untitled Muppets sequel is set for release on December 20, 2013.
by Rob Vaux Posted: December 7th, 2012 at 8:55 am
The Muppet Christmas Carol marked a key transition in the life of its parent company, Jim Henson Productions. It was the first movie released after Henson’s untimely death, and represents a radical departure from previous Muppet films. They based it on previously existing material, for starters, and the Muppets played specific characters rather than versions of themselves. It also featured a live performer (Michael Caine) front and center: a risky move since his costars have a tendency to upstage everyone. Despite those changes, the film itself holds up quite well, and its release on Blu-ray aptly demonstrates why. Hit the jump for my full review.
One of my favorite films of last year was director James Bobin‘s The Muppets. Not only was the film a huge commercial hit grossing almost $160 million worldwide, The Muppets averaged an amazing 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (Bret McKenzie‘s “Man or Muppet”). While it might have been a while before Disney decided to release a further Muppets movie, the new film’s success led the studio to greenlight the sequel quickly and it currently has a December 20, 2013 release date (via IMDb). As we’ve previously reported:
With the release date almost a year away, I figured filming must be starting soon. I was right. The other night I attended a Lionsgate/Summit holiday party where I ran into Muppet producer Todd Lieberman (he produced The Muppets with David Hoberman) and he gave me an update on the sequel. Hit the jump for more.
It’s been a while since we’ve had some Muppets news, but it now appears that we’ve learned who may be playing the new film’s villain. We know that The Muppets director James Bobin has been working on the script for the sequel with Muppets co-writer Nicholas Stoller, and now Variety’s Marc Graser reports via Twitter that Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is set to play an Interpol agent in the film. Stoller previously revealed that the film will be a caper, and Graser adds that the story will find the Muppets “running around in Europe.”
It’s a minor bit of news with few details, but Bobin, Stoller, and Jason Segel knocked last year’s redo out of the park so I’m eager to see where they take the characters in the sequel. Segel won’t have a hand in the script this time around, but it’s possible that he’ll make a cameo in the follow-up. Hopefully we hear more Muppets 2 news soon.
With director Lee Toland Krieger‘s romantic comedy/drama Celeste and Jesse Forever opening this weekend, I recently got to talk with Rashida Jones. In the film, Andy Samberg stars with Jones as a divorcing couple who are having trouble maintaining their intense friendship while living together and pursuing other relationships. In addition, Jones co-wrote the script, and it’s a great mix of realistic comedy and drama. It’s definitely recommended. Celeste and Jesse also stars Elijah Wood, Chris Messina and Emma Roberts.
During my interview with Jones we talked about her inspiration for writing the script, deleted scenes, what changed on set, improv, and more. In addition, I asked her whether it’s better to have written a great movie, worked with the Muppets, or getting to work with Ron Swanson (on Parks and Recreation). Hit the jump to watch.
It’s not too often you meet someone that has truly changed your life. Having grown up on Sesame Street, Star Wars and The Muppets, getting to meet and speak with Frank Oz at the Saturn Awards last night was the highlight of my evening. If you’re not aware of Oz’s influence on our planet, he created Yoda, Miss Piggy, Animal, Grover, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster and Bert on Sesame Street, among many others. His influence on generations of kids around the world is immeasurable.
During our interview, I asked him about working with Jim Henson, creating the voices for his iconic characters, if he kept any props from his past projects, if he saw director James Bobin‘s The Muppets and what he thought about the film, and whether he would ever be involved with The Muppets again. Hit the jump for more.
Opening this Friday, April 27th is director Nicholas Stoller’s comedy The Five-Year Engagement. The film reunites Stoller with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Jason Segel and follows a couple (played by Segel and Emily Blunt) through the ups and downs of their extended engagement. The excellent ensemble cast also includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, David Paymer, Mimi Kennedy, Jacki Weaver, Jim Piddock, Kevin Hart, Brian Posehn and Mindy Kaling.
I got to visit the set earlier this year where I previously spoke with Stoller and producer Rodney Rothman, but recently I sat down with Stoller again to talk about the film and much more. During the course of our interview, Stoller talked about how well women have been responding to the movie, basing the characters on real life people, improv vs. sticking to the script, whether he’ll release an extended director’s cut on the Blu-ray/DVD, deleted scenes, the status of The Muppets sequel and whether they’ll introduce new Muppets, his new TV pilot, and his favorite movie, actor and director. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
It’s hard to believe that a few years ago, The Muppets weren’t a priority for Walt Disney Studios. How the times have changed. That’s because after director James Bobin, co-writer and star Jason Segel, and co-writer Nicholas Stoller delivered both a critical and commercial hit (The Muppets made almost $160 million worldwide not counting home video or merchandise), the studio decided to bring back Bobin and Stoller for the sequel. However, while we knew that Segel wouldn’t be coming back (read why here), not much was known about the sequel and the status of the script. So when I sat down with Stoller earlier today at The Five-Year Engagement junket for our partners at Omelete, I asked what’s the status of the film. Thankfully, Stoller gave me some big updates:
- The Muppet Sequel is going to be a comedy caper.
- Disney really wants the sequel and they want it as soon as possible. Stoller says Disney wants to release it summer 2013 but he doesn’t think that’s realistic.
- Jason Segel might cameo.
- The sequel will introduce new Muppets.
- Bobin and Stoller started writing the script yesterday. They wrote 13 pages after outlining the entire movie over the past few weeks.
Hit the jump for more.