The Muppets has been a big hit with critics and while it couldn’t beat out Twilight at the box office over Thanksgiving weekend, Kermit and the gang are expected to rise to #1 this weekend when there will be no new wide releases. But when you go to see the movie (if you haven’t seen it already), you should know you’re not watching the original ending. Hit the jump to find out how the movie originally wrapped up along with details on some other deleted scenes. Obviously, there will be spoilers.
The current ending has the gang only making $99,999.99 when they needed to raise $1,000,000 [Correction: they needed to raise $10 million]. Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) gets the Muppet Studios and everything related to the Muppet name. While everyone is dejected at first, Kermit gives a pep talk to the Muppet troops, and when they walk outside, they discover that the street is packed with their fans and the final message that everyone loves the Muppets is hammered home. Tex Richman gives back the studio and the Muppet name when Gonzo accidentally hits him with a bowling ball, but this information is revealed during the credits.
Devin at Badass Digest revealed how the movie originally ended:
The endings diverge when the big tote board comes up one dollar short. In the released film Fozzie bumps it and we see they’re actually millions short. In the original film they’re always one dollar short, and when it looks like all hope is lost Waldorf and Statler pipe up from the balcony. “That wasn’t so bad after all,” they say, and toss down a dollar. The Muppets are victorious.
Director James Bobin reportedly cut this ending because he was still trying “to find the shape of the movie.” While I have a little trouble believing that Statler and Waldorf would do anything to support The Muppets, the original ending makes more sense. The two hecklers probably feel some responsibility for selling the studios to Richman in the first place (why they’re the ones handling the sale is beyond me). More importantly, it’s difficult to reconcile how The Muppets are good enough to fill the streets and receive heaps of praise, but can’t make the $1,000,000 they need.
In his interview with Steve, Bobin said deleted scenes were cut for time, but he didn’t go into specifics on what was left on the editing room floor other than “bits and pieces of songs.” Badass reveals that some cameos didn’t make the cut (which isn’t surprising and doesn’t seem like a huge loss), but the movie lost a lot when it came to fleshing out Richman’s character:
See, another deleted sequence involved a flashback to Tex’s childhood. We learn that he was entertained at his birthday by the Muppets (remember him saying at the beginning of the film that he’s been a fan since he was a kid?), but for some reason Tex can’t laugh. He can’t receive the third greatest gift the Muppets have to offer. It’s traumatizing for him.
In the original ending, the bowling ball doesn’t give Richman brain damage and cause him to relinquish the studio and the naming rights. Instead, the hit with the bowling ball “would knock loose the block that kept Richman from laughing.” It’s why you can see him laughing in the end credits and why he says at the beginning that he was a big fan of the Muppets as a kid.
Of course, context is everything and these scenes may not fit in the overall film. I would love to see an extended cut where the deleted scenes are thrown back in (or even better, a Blu-ray feature that allows the viewer to choose which deleted scenes should be re-added) and seeing how the movie plays. This is assuming that these scenes are even included on the DVD and/or Blu-ray. If they are, I hope Bobin provides some commentary on why they were cut, because replacing one ending with another isn’t something done “for time”.