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:
- The Muppet sequel is going to be a comedy caper set in Europe.
- The first film’s screenwriters Nicholas Stoller and James Bobin have been writing the sequel, with Bobin returning to the director’s chair.
- The sequel will introduce new Muppets.
- Jason Segel told me he won’t be in the film even though Stoller mentioned he might cameo.
- Christoph Waltz is set to play an Interpol agent.
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.
- While the first film was shot in and around Burbank, California, the sequel will be shooting at Pinewood Studio in London.
- They’ll be filming from late January till sometime in April in and around London.
- Bret McKenzie is writing new songs for the sequel.
- Lieberman teased we “might” be getting a new Muppet. So the big question is how many new characters will appear in the sequel.
- We can expect a lot more casting announcements very soon.
As a big fan of McKenzie and the music of the first film, I’m extremely happy he’s back on the sequel. I’m also excited to see what kind of trouble The Muppets get into in and around London.
With the holidays fast approaching, I’d imagine Disney is working on actor contracts right now and we’ll start to hear a lot more news soon. More as we hear it.