Director James Bobin Talks MUPPETS MOST WANTED, Finding the Story for the Sequel, Putting Together the Cast, ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2, and More

by     Posted 23 days ago

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With Muppets Most Wanted now in theaters, I recently landed an exclusive interview with director James Bobin.  In the sequel, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets mistaken for his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine.  The film stars Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and features a ton of celebrity cameos.  For more on the film, watch 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, or check out all our previous coverage which features TV spots, clips, interviews, and more.

In my interview with Bobin he talked about how the sequel came together, if there was any hesitation about taking the job, if the story changed a lot during the writing process, deleted scenes, the cast, what’s going on with Alice in Wonderland 2 and the story, and a lot moreHit the jump for what he had to say.

TOP 5: GODZILLA Set Visit, DIVERGENT, Final Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, MUPPETS MOST WANTED Interviews, CHEAP THRILLS

by     Posted 26 days ago

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Now available on VOD and in select theaters is Drafthouse Films’ dark thriller/comedy Cheap Thrills starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, and Sara Paxton. I watched the film last night and, while not for the faint of heart or stomach, I can’t recommend it enough. At its core, Thrills works from a single question: how far would you go to be able to provide for yourself and/or your family? It uses precision pacing, confident direction from E.L. Katz, and solid performances across the board to explore this question, all while gradually rising to a crescendo that feels both inevitable and wildly inventive. Offhand I can’t think of a film that blends the thrilling and the disgusting, excitement and repulsion, in a more entertaining way than Cheap Thrills. Regardless of whether you want to or not (and I don’t think you will), this is a movie you won’t soon forget.

In addition to talking a bit more about Cheap Thrills with Matt’s review and a couple of interviews, this week’s Top 5 also highlights our set visit coverage for Godzilla, Matt’s review of Divergent plus interviews with Shailene Woodley and more, the final trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Muppets Most Wanted interviews with Tina Fey among others. Read on for a brief recap and link to everything I mention above.

Director James Bobin & Songwriter Bret McKenzie Talk MUPPETS MOST WANTED, the Hensons’ Reaction to the Film, the Pressure of Following an Oscar Win, and More

by     Posted 27 days ago

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Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a tour of Europe’s most exciting destinations, but once they’re overseas, they find themselves caught up in a crime caper at the hands of Kermit’s evil doppleganger Constantine.  Featuring numerous Muppets, great musical numbers and surprising cameos, this action-comedy-musical will most certainly make you laugh, and might even bring a tear to your eye.

During a conference at the film’s press day, director/writer James Bobin and songwriter/music supervisor Bret McKenzie talked about connecting with the original vibe of The Muppets, what the Hensons think of the film, how it was to work with The Muppets again, the logistics of shooting a Muppet movie, the inspirations for this story, finding the right tone for the songs, lining up the cameos, paying tribute to classic old Hollywood films, and telling a story that’s funny for both kids and adults.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Watch 20 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from MUPPETS MOST WANTED

by     Posted 36 days ago

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The Muppets return to the big screen later this month in the caper Muppets Most Wanted, and Disney has provided us with 20 minutes of fantastic behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film.  Included in the video are great on set moments, the cast and Muppets recording some of the songs, some of the big stars that cameo in the film, Bret McKenzie singing one the songs, and so much more.  I promise if you’re a fan of The Muppets, you’re going to love the video.  Saying that, if you’re trying to stay spoiler free, you might want to wait to watch this as some of the jokes/cameos will get spoiled.

Directed by James Bobin, the follow-up finds the gang on a successful tour in Europe when Kermit gets mistaken for his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine, and thrown in jail.  The human cast is led by Ricky Gervais as a hotshot agent named “Dominic Badguy”, Tina Fey as a Russian prison guard, and Ty Burrell as an Interpol agent.  Hit the jump to watch the extended behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made.  Muppets Most Wanted opens March 21st.

Director James Bobin Talks Infusion of History and Comedy in ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2; Says Film Has a “Slightly More Human World”

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Director Tim Burton’s 2010 live-action adaptation of Alice in Wonderland was a massive success for Disney, kicking off a boom of 3D films and grossing over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.  It was never a question of if Disney would move forward with a sequel, but rather when the follow-up would come to fruition.  That time, apparently, is now, as last year the studio set The Muppets director to take the helm of Alice in Wonderland 2.  Stars Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp are poised to reprise their roles from the first pic, and the sequel has already been dated for a May 27, 2016 release.

While recently speaking with Bobin in anticipation of another Disney sequel, Muppets Most Wanted, Steve also took the opportunity to ask the filmmaker about the Alice in Wonderland follow-up, titled Through the Looking Glass.  While the director couldn’t go into specifics, he spoke of how his passion for history and love of Lewis Carroll’s comedy leanings made the job a perfect fit and discussed his visual approach to the film, adding that it takes place in a different part of Underland.  Read on after the jump.

MUPPETS MOST WANTED Soundtrack Features Vocals from Kermit the Frog, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Miss Piggy, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, and More

by     Posted 47 days ago

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James Bobin’s Muppets Most Wanted hits screens in just three weeks, but you’ll be able to enjoy the soundtrack of the crime caper comedy a few days earlier.  Featuring songs by the Oscar-winning Bret McKenzie and scored by the award-winning Christophe Beck, the sequel’s soundtrack will be available starting March 18th.  You can get a taste of the music in this trailer that includes the “Sequel Song”.  Much like the film itself, the soundtrack features vocals from Kermit the Frog, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Miss Piggy, Josh Groban, Constantine, Celine Dion, and More.

Hit the jump for the track listing and press release.  Click here to pre-order a copyMuppets Most Wanted opens March 21st. 

14 New Behind-the-Scenes Image from MUPPETS MOST WANTED

by     Posted 99 days ago

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With director James Bobin‘s Muppets Most Wanted opening March 21, Walt Disney has provided us with fourteen new behind-the-scenes images to go with my set visit coverage (which you can read here).  In the sequel, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets confused with his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine.  Ricky Gervais plays Constantine’s sidekick, Tina Fey plays a Russian prison guard, and Ty Burrell plays an Interpol agent.  Hit the jump to check out the new images and here’s the latest trailer.

New Trailer and Images for MUPPETS MOST WANTED Starring Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey; Celine Dion, Danny Trejo, and More Cameos Announced

by     Posted 148 days ago

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Disney has released a new trailer for director James Bobin‘s upcoming sequel Muppets Most Wanted.  In the follow-up, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets confused with his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine. I really enjoyed 2011′s The Muppets, but almost everything I’m seeing from this sequel is doing nothing for me.  It’s not a bad premise, and it’s amusing to see Constantine try to impersonate Kermit, but it’s still a fairly tired plot and there’s almost none of the irreverence or wackiness I’d expect to see from a Muppet movie.  Here’s hoping it’s just a bad trailer and not a bad movie.

Hit the jump check out the new trailer and images, and find out about some of the cameos.  The film stars Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell.  Muppets Most Wanted opens March 21, 2014.

Bret McKenzie Says He’s Writing a Fairy Tale Comedy Musical Akin to LABYRINTH That Involves “Singing Dragons and Monsters”

by     Posted 252 days ago

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As one half of the very popular Flight of the Conchords duo, Bret McKenzie has certainly made a name for himself in the comedy world.  While he has recently started to branch out acting-wise with more prominent roles in the upcoming Austenland and The Hobbit trilogy, McKenzie also drew notice for penning some excellent original songs in 2011’s The Muppets.  The multi-talented New Zealand native ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet,” and he’s returning to pen even more songs for the sequel Muppets Most Wanted.

Steve recently sat down with McKenzie to discuss his work in Austenland, but during the course of the interview McKenzie revealed that he’s currently writing a film of his own that he describes as “a fairy tale comedy musical.”  The Muppets co-writer and director James Bobin is helping McKenzie develop the property, which will involve singing dragons and monsters and draws on elements from both The Muppets and The Princess Bride.  Hit the jump for more on this rather promising project.

First Teaser Trailer and New Images for MUPPETS MOST WANTED

by     Posted 254 days ago

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Disney has released the first teaser trailer and some new images for director James Bobin’s sequel Muppets Most Wanted.  In the follow-up, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets confused with his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine.  Ricky Gervais plays Constantine’s sidekick, Tina Fey plays a Russian prison guard, and Ty Burrell plays an Interpol agent.  This first teaser trailer appears to be geared towards very young audiences, and thus could easily be mistaken for one of those Chipmunks movies if it weren’t for the, you know, muppets.  We don’t get to see much of Gervais’ performances, but from the brief glimpses it looks like Fey and Burrell will be scene-stealers here.  The majority of the creative team behind the first film is back, including Bobin as director and co-writer and Nicholas Stoller as the screenwriter, so here’s hoping they strike a similar tone as well.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser trailer and to check out the new images.  Muppets Most Wanted opens on March 21, 2014.

James Bobin in Early Talks to Direct Disney’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND Sequel, Possibly Titled ALICE IN WONDERLAND: INTO THE LOOKING GLASS

by     Posted 322 days ago

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Though he’s currently filming Disney’s The Muppets sequel, The Muppets … Again!, director James Bobin is reportedly in early talks for another Disney sequel: Alice in Wonderland 2.  Tim Burton’s 2010 original 3D picture brought in over $1 billion at the box office, so it comes as little surprise that the studio is moving forward with another installment.  Screenwriter Linda Woolverton returns to pen the script for the sequel, which is possibly tagged Into the Looking Glass.  Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd will also return as producers.  Variety also reports that the original Alice in Wonderland is on its way to becoming a musical through Disney Theatrical Productions, based on another script by Woolverton.

Tina Fey in Talks to Star Opposite Ricky Gervais in THE MUPPETS Sequel

by     Posted 1 year, 99 days ago

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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.

Ricky Gervais in Talks to Lead THE MUPPETS Sequel

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago

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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.

Ty Burrell to Star in THE MUPPETS Sequel; Christoph Waltz Out

by     Posted 1 year, 130 days ago

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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.

THE MUPPETS Sequel Update: Filming Begins in Late January at Pinewood Studios in London; Bret McKenzie Writing New Songs

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago

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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.

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