Details on the Original Ending and Deleted Scenes for THE MUPPETS

     November 28, 2011


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-Muppets-movie-posterThe 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”.

  • Sands

    Amy Adams is really gorgeous and very talented. It’s an exquisite performance, just wonderful.

  • Jonas

    If you’d seen the film, Matt, you’d know they were trying to raise $10,000,000.00 not $1,000,000.00. That’s $10 million, not $1 million. A little harder to come by.

  • Disneyfan58

    It’s not 1,000,000 they need to raise It’s 10,000,000 so they raise 9,999,999 and when fozzie knocks it down or 99,999.99.

  • Jonas

    When you wrote ‘Badass’ did you mean ‘Bobin’?

    Also, the explanation that the original ending was changed for time DOES make sense. For them to use the original ending they would have to add that scene back in from Tex’s childhood – a scene that would add not only exposition, but time. They went for a streamlined ending to save time. No big mystery. But i too am hoping for the extended original cut on Blu-Ray, if that ending and scene were indeed even shot.

  • Jonas

    Did anyone else think it was weird that some songs had karaoke-style lyrics at the bottom of the screen, while others didn’t?

  • LicoriceWhips

    Hate to say it, but I was hugely disappointed with the movie. It was basically a poor man’s remake of the original movie. The songs were shadows of the classics. The cameos are a series of wasted opportunities. Kermit would never move into a mansion and leave his friends behind. The whole thing just felt like a wasted opportunity. And, the ending felt tacked on and not thought out. It left you with a feeling of huh? I love everyone involved in the film, and I love the Muppets. But, geez, what a disappointment.

    • Robby

      Piggy bought the mansion, NOT Kermit. He was there because he was waiting for her to come back, and he was miserable in the mansion.

      That’s a key character point, I don’t know why so many people miss that.

      • T. Van

        Now that you mention it, Piggy’s “flightiness” is something we saw way back in the first movie (that “um, ah, GOODBYE” scene). Kermit’s anger with her was further illustrated by the fact that her particular portrait was covered.

        A key part of Kermit’s journey involves his decision to let go of the past and try to move forward with their relationship. A film team could easily handle such a theme in a heavy-handed and pretentious manner, so kudos to this team for *not* making that mistake.

  • Jonas

    I’m 34 years old, and loved The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. After that, I kind of lost interest in The Muppets. They became a property more for kids, and everything was really dumbed down. When I heard about this new movie, I was skeptical, as I thought it was going to be another Muppet Treasure Island or Muppets In Space. I wasn’t expecting much, and figured the hype was due to fanboys seeing their beloved childhood creatures back on the screen.
    Well, I loved it. My wife and i went to a matinee yesterday, and the theatre wasn’t packed, but it was quite a range of ages, probably from about six years old to seventy-five. Not everyone laughed at every joke, but every joke was laughed at by a good chunk of the audience. It wasn’t Citizen Kane, but I thought it was a very thoughtful movie, that was self-aware, which was genious. They were smart to acknowledge their history, and the fact that they’d gotten stale.
    It’s a tricky thing to maintain the core of these great characters and still appeal to a younger audience. But in my opinion, they did it.
    People are complaining about the fart joke in the film, but I didn’t find it was that far outside the realm of Fozzy Bear’s humour.
    Plus, some of those early Muppet Show episodes had some very sexual overtunes, and some low brow gags. The Muppet Show always presented itself as a low-rent variety show with a gang of weirdos. Some of the later films softened that fact to sell the property to kids, but this film strikes a nice balance. I didn’t feel talked down to. I felt they really respected the history of the Muppets, and though the film is heavy on nostalgia, it is sweet and sincere, and I’m glad they didn’t just make them all wear sunglasses and ride skateboards. These are the Muppets you love, and they acknowledge that maybe they6′re getting a little long in the tooth. The pacing of the movie, and some of the writing, is done with modern audiences in mind, but those who grew up with the Muppets in the ’60s and ’70s aren’t left behind either – there is a lot of fan-service here, and Segel and company clearly did their homework.
    (The only things I missed was an appearance by Steve Martin, that seemed hinted at, and Clifford, who wasn’t mentioned at all!)
    It’s a fairly simple, sweet film with a lot of humour and heart. If you can’t enjoy that, maybe the Muppets just aren’t for you. I for one am glad they can still make movies like this in such a cynical, A.D.D. world.

  • IllusionOfLife

    The uncut version of the Tex Richman song (featuring the flashback) is on the soundtrack, and what I suspect happened was they were forced to cut that segment for time/pacing reasons and because they made that cut, the ending had to be redone in order to make sense in the context of the rest of the movie. So the ending itself wasn’t altered for time, but altered as a result of another cut.

  • T. Van

    From my vantage point, this was a pretty solid movie. While I will acknowledge that the narrative was by no means groundreaking, the reality is that the various character journeys (for Walt, Gary, Mary and Kermit) couldn’t help but to reasonate with the bulk of the audience.

    The only part that bothered me was when Kermit lied to the kid from, what was that, Modern Family? For tose who don’t remember, the lie was in regard to being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. While I recognize the desperation of his character, I found that to run counter to the very core of his character… but also found that to be a rather minor issue.

    I would also add that this installment probably was more effective than its counterparts, when it comes to giving people a sense of how the humans and Muppets relate to one-another within the particular world created by Henson & Oz.

  • jeff

    The ninja turtle joke was hilarious.

  • Ruttiger

    Ah! Now I understand Cooper’s “maniacal laugh” joke they kept playing thoughout the movie. It didn’t make sense to me, but if he CAN’T laugh, then it plays better. Too bad we didn’t see the longer version.

  • fanspeed

    liked it nuff said,old school memories, funny scene was Gonzo and the look on the face of the guy holding the stopwatch. enjoy

  • luke

    Awesome movie! Only complaint: not a lot of Beaker:(