The Muppets finally returned to the big screen last year in a big way with director James Bobin’s The Muppets. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who downright hated the movie, as The Muppets was a funny, loveable ode to the classic characters. Jason Segel had a huge hand in bringing them back to the big screen, as he got the ball rolling on the project as an executive producer and co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller. Just the other day we heard that Disney was moving forward on a sequel to The Muppets, but given his busy schedule juggling How I Met Your Mother and his film projects, Segel wouldn’t have a hand in the screenplay this time around. Stoller and Bobin are writing the follow-up, but it was hard to imagine that Segel wouldn’t at least reprise his role as Gary.
Earlier today, Steve got the chance to speak with Segel at the press day for the upcoming dramedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and the actor confirmed that not only will he not be co-writing the Muppets sequel, he also won’t be starring in it. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
“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 (laughs).”
I thought Segel’s charm and upbeat personality suited him extremely well for a starring role in a Muppets movie, and while I’m certainly sad that we won’t be seeing more of Gary I don’t really think it’s a huge blow storywise to the follow-up. As Matt pointed out in the previous post regarding a possible Segel-less Muppets sequel, the actor was careful to make sure that the movie wasn’t entirely about Gary. The real stars of the movie were Walter and Kermit, and I’m assuming a sequel will most likely be following Walter’s adventures as a full member of the reunited Muppets.
While it sounds like we won’t see Gary in the direct sequel, Segel’s leaving the door open to return in some capacity to the production, reiterating that his ultimate goal was just to bring The Muppets back:
“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.”
I definitely don’t blame Segel for not wanting to spend another two years on another Muppet movie, especially given how hard he worked to bring them back in the first place. Between How I Met Your Mother and his burgeoning film career, he’s already got quite a bit on his plate. I’m confident that the sequel is in great hands with Stoller and Bobin, and can’t wait to see what they have in store. You can watch the portion of the interview in which Segel talks about The Muppets sequel below, and be sure to look out for the full interview closer to the release of Jeff, Who Lives at Home.