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.
Opening this Friday, April 27th is director Nicholas Stoller’s comedy The Five-Year Engagement. The film reunites Stoller with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Jason Segel and follows a couple (played by Segel and Emily Blunt) through the ups and downs of their extended engagement. The excellent ensemble cast also includes Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, David Paymer, Mimi Kennedy, Jacki Weaver, Jim Piddock, Kevin Hart, Brian Posehn and Mindy Kaling.
I got to visit the set earlier this year where I previously spoke with Stoller and producer Rodney Rothman, but recently I sat down with Stoller again to talk about the film and much more. During the course of our interview, Stoller talked about how well women have been responding to the movie, basing the characters on real life people, improv vs. sticking to the script, whether he’ll release an extended director’s cut on the Blu-ray/DVD, deleted scenes, the status of The Muppets sequel and whether they’ll introduce new Muppets, his new TV pilot, and his favorite movie, actor and director. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
It’s hard to believe that a few years ago, The Muppets weren’t a priority for Walt Disney Studios. How the times have changed. That’s because after director James Bobin, co-writer and star Jason Segel, and co-writer Nicholas Stoller delivered both a critical and commercial hit (The Muppets made almost $160 million worldwide not counting home video or merchandise), the studio decided to bring back Bobin and Stoller for the sequel. However, while we knew that Segel wouldn’t be coming back (read why here), not much was known about the sequel and the status of the script. So when I sat down with Stoller earlier today at The Five-Year Engagement junket for our partners at Omelete, I asked what’s the status of the film. Thankfully, Stoller gave me some big updates:
- The Muppet Sequel is going to be a comedy caper.
- Disney really wants the sequel and they want it as soon as possible. Stoller says Disney wants to release it summer 2013 but he doesn’t think that’s realistic.
- Jason Segel might cameo.
- The sequel will introduce new Muppets.
- Bobin and Stoller started writing the script yesterday. They wrote 13 pages after outlining the entire movie over the past few weeks.
Hit the jump for more.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is writer/directors Jay and Mark Duplass (Cyrus) Jeff Who Lives at Home. Starring Jason Segel (The Muppets) and Ed Helms (The Hangover) as two brothers, with Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) as their mother, Jeff Who Lives at Home follows Jeff (Segel) as he searches for meaning in his life and inadvertently helps his brother, Pat (Helms) discover a truth of his own. For more on the very funny film, here’s three clips, twenty images, the trailer, and my Toronto Film Festival interview with the Duplass Brothers.
During my recent interview with Segel, we talked about how he got involved in the film, what it’s like to do a dramatic movie where most of the scenes are improvised, the shooting process of the Duplass brothers, what it was like to shoot in chronological order, the inclusion of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs in the movie, whether more people recognize him from SLC Punk, Alias, or Can’t Hardly Wait, what TV shows he’s currently watching, his involvement (or lack thereof) with The Muppets sequel, The Five-Year Engagement, the inevitable end of How I Met Your Mother, and what he plans to do for his upcoming hiatus. Hit the jump to watch.
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.