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.
As a huge fan of what Bobin and Stoller did on The Muppets, I’m extremely excited that they’re hard at work on the sequel. As Stoller says, while Disney might want it as soon as next summer, The Muppets was released on November 23 of last year and did quite well. I think it’s safe to assume if the script comes together in the next few months and if everyone is happy, the could be filming this fall and releasing it during the 2013 holiday season.
However, since The Muppets sequel won’t require massive CGI shots and complicated special effects, perhaps a summer release date is possible. But getting the songs right takes time, and I think a fall release makes a lot more sense so everyone would have the time to get it right.
With Stoller and Bobin hard at work on the sequel, I’d imagine in the near future we’re going to hear about a release date and that will lead to casting announcements and more. Again, as a huge fan of what this team did bringing back The Muppets, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Here’s what Stoller told me about The Muppet sequel followed by the transcript. Look for the full interview soon.
Collider: Before I run out of time with you, which I know is going to happen quite soon, I have to open the door on the sequel to The Muppets. This is a mandatory question. What is going on with it right now? Are you writing?
Nicholas Stoller: I’m writing with James Bobin. We’ve outlined it over the past couple weeks and we literally started writing it yesterday. The first 13 pages are written.
Stoller: Yeah. It is started. It is on.
Obviously Jason [Segel] has talked about how he’s not going to be in it. Have you guys written the possibility of a cameo for Jason?
Stoller: Right now, yeah, there’s a cameo possibility in it, definitely. Gary and Mary’s story is concluded. There’s not much to say after that for their story, but we follow them up into a…I will say, it is a caper. It is a comedy caper.
Nice! I appreciate that. Has Disney told you guys when they want to release it?
Stoller: They really want it. It’s very…it was very encouraging and exciting. I’ve never been part of a franchise before. They want to do it. They want it as soon as possible, which is good. I’m not sure exactly when they want to release it. I think it was something like next summer, but I don’t know if that’s…I don’t think that that’s realistic in terms of getting it all together in time. But to want to do it so quickly is great. It certainly makes us want to write it quickly.
I love the first one. You mentioned comedy caper. Obviously the Muppets have done a lot of stuff. Are you looking at any of the previous Muppet movies or is this a whole new angle on what you guys are doing?
Stoller: Yeah, I think it’s similar to the first one in that the first one certainly had dramatic connections to the first Muppet movie, but it was a whole new thing, hopefully. This is the same thing. We love The Great Muppet Caper and we love Muppets Take Manhattan and whatnot. So this has some elements of that, but it’s different because it’s in the tone of what James and I like to do.
I’ve got to wrap, but two really quick last things: are you introducing any new characters and what’s going on with that TV pilot you’re doing?
Stoller: We are introducing new characters. That’s really fun to do. Secondly, the TV pilot I finished, that’s for CBS, I won’t know until mid-May if it’s picked up. It came out really well. The cast is awesome. I love it. I hope it’s picked up. Who knows.
Finally, if you’ve never seen it, here’s the trailer for The Great Muppet Caper: