With The Muppets now playing, all week I’ve been posting exclusive video interviews with the cast and filmmakers. The past week I posted my conversations with Amy Adams, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Jason Segel and Walter, director James Bobin, co-screenwriter Nicholas Stoller, and today I’ve got producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. But before getting to the interview, as I’ve said all week, I absolutely loved The Muppets. It’s one of my favorite films of the year and it not only made me laugh, it also made me cry. If you were nervous about the movie…don’t be. It’s a huge home run.
During the interview, Hoberman and Lieberman talked about their reaction to seeing the finished film for the first time, the test screening process, Kermit’s song “Pictures of My Head,” the newest Muppet Walter, and the possibility that The Muppets might return to TV. In addition, with Hoberman and Lieberman having produced The Fighter and involved in other projects, I asked the status of a sequel, what’s up with Warm Bodies, and the movie adaptation of Phineas and Ferb. Hit the jump to watch.
- They knew they had something special when they saw the first cut of The Muppets. It was clearly fun, but with the emotional throughline of Walter’s motivation.
- 1:40 – Talk about finding the movie in post-production. “You make the movie, and then you make the movie.”
- 3:20 – They like to do a lot of test screenings, first with friends and family, then with the public. Lieberman gives an example about how the audience reaction to Walter’s whistling performance helped shape that scene in the final cut.
- 5:40 – Talk about how Kermit’s nostalgic song “Pictures of My Head” came to be. They always wanted a specific emotional beat there, and listened to a number of proposed songs to find the best fit.
- 7:00 – Hoberman describes a similar process of starting from scratch, and workshopping a character until they ended up with Walter.
- 8:40 – A sequel, or bringing the Muppets back to TV, is definitely being talked about.
- 9:10 – Mark Wahlberg is in “training mode” for a follow-up to The Fighter. The potential project is still in the “conceptualization phase.”
- 10:15 – Warm Bodies is currently filming. They trust director Jonathan Levine with the unique material.
- 11:40 – They are excited about a movie adaptation of Phineas and Ferb. It will be an animation/live-action hybrid. There’s no director attached yet, but they are developing the script.