Bret McKenzie took home an Oscar the first time he tussled with puppets, working as the music supervisor on 2011’s The Muppets. Naturally, he signed up for seconds, serving in the same capacity for the upcoming Muppets Most Wanted, but apparently, the Flight of Conchords co-frontman wants to continue thumbing through Jim Henson’s back-catalog for inspiration… sorta.
In a new interview with Collider, McKenzie talked up another project that he is working on with James Bobin (the director of both Muppet revival movies and also 11 Flight of Conchords episodes), one that McKenzie compared to Labyrinth, Henson’s David Bowie starring dark fantasy.
“I’m in the middle of a script for a kind of—it hasn’t got a name yet but it’s a fairy tale comedy musical, sort of akin to Labyrinth or something like that. I’m developing and that script’s halfway through. James Bobin’s helping me. I’m the official writer but we’re developing it. I want to make a comedy musical with singing dragons and monsters and stuff. [It’s] live-action, so it would be a mixture of The Muppets and The Princess Bride.”
Obviously, this is still in the formative stages, but those comparables and McKenzie’s work with the Conchords makes this one to watch, even if it isn’t the Labyrinth-era David Bowie filled space party that we all desperately want and need.
Actor Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Bastards) is known for playing some of the best villains in film. To hear he was cast as the lead in The Muppets sequel, it blew my mind. I can only imagine what it would have been like to see such an intense actor sing, dance and joke with The Muppets. Too bad it’s not going to happen.
Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, Waltz had to bow out.
The Hollywood Reporter broke news that Emmy award winner Ty Burrell will be taking over for Chris in the Nicholas Stoller and James Bobin written and directed sequel.
Not a bad choice. Being the a lead on the hit show Modern Family, Burrell sure knows how to act around muppets.
Not much is known about the exact plot except that it’s set in Europe, focuses on some kind of caper, will once again feature all the Muppets (including new addition, Walter) and three of the lead human roles are Burrell’s Interpol Inspector, a Russian Femme Fatale and another man “whose intentions are always in question.” Oscar-winner Bret McKenzie will also be back writing songs.
The Muppets sequel will reportedly shoot sometime next year in London, England, but as far as we’re concerned that’s a long ways away.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted as more casting news is developed in the future.
This holiday weekend we welcomed the Muppets back to the silver screen in, uh, The Muppets. It’s been 32 years since their first feature film, The Muppet Movie and 12 years since Muppets from Space. Add in the sensation they stirred up with any of their promotional appearances or parody trailers and it’s clear we’ve been missing the Muppets. And The Muppets, the movie, nails that perfect blend of nostalgia with fantastic fresh material.
Much of The Muppets’ success, of course, goes to the Muppets. These characters are so much larger than the people who bring them to life, and it’s because of this the Muppets will most likely still be making movies long after we’re dead. And this isn’t meant to discredit those who do bring them to life! What they do is incredible. I’ve always been amazed at the amount of emotion and expression a Muppet can show, and in The Muppets, the Muppets deliver some of their best, most genuine performances.
There’s a chance of spoilers ahead, but not an abundance. Too much of the fun is in the surprise, in particular the awesome cameos. (more…)