james bobin

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Muppets Most Wanted’


[This review has been cross-posted with permission from Kabooooom!]

When The Muppets released in 2011 it was a celebrated return to the movies for Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the whole gang. That film was a nostalgia-laden trip through Muppet history and brought them back to relevance after years away. Their follow-up film, Muppets Most Wanted, is an enjoyable caper but as The Muppets themselves sing early on, “everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good.”  (more…)


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.

Source: Collider


With fairy tale adaptions not losing their fervor anytime soon Disney is keen to begin production on a sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Though this time without Tim Burton’s involvement it seems. The word is they’re eyeing James Bobin, director of The Muppets and The Muppet… Again!, to helm the project. The sequel will likely be called Alice in Wonderland: Into the Looking Glass, which is an unfortunate mouthful, and it’s not confirmed but assumed Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp will return.

The script is currently being finished up by screenwriter, Linda Woolverton, who also wrote the first flick. Also not confirmed is if the film will be in 3D, but come on, of course it’ll be in 3D. How else will it come close to reaching its predecessor’s billion+ dollar earnings.

Any interest in a sequel to Burton’s Alice in Wonderland? Could Bobin avoid the pitfalls of the first?

Source: Variety, The Wrap via /Film

The Muppets rejuvenated, uh, The Muppets and brought the whole gang back on the big screen in a fun and modern way pleasing longtime fans as well as newer and younger audiences. Suffice it to say, The Muppets was an all around hit and we’re hoping the already announced sequel lives up. Tentatively titled, The Muppets… again, a source told /Film the sequel, being scripted by Nicholas Stoller and James Bobin, will involve Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, and the gang in an European caper.

Adding to the awesome, THR is reporting Tina Fey is in talks to join the production as a Russian gulag prison guard. I love it! Right in her wheelhouse. She would be joined by other participating humans Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell. Though expect to learn of more humans involved the closer we get to its, likely, 2014 release date.

What do you think of Fey joining The Muppets‘ sequel?

Ricky Gervais is reported to be in negotiations to star in The Muppets sequel as the lead “Human” actor. I guess he’s got to work with felt since no one in Hollywood wants to work with Gervais after his Golden Globe rant. (Joking here, I loved his performance! ! !) Production starts in January. Gervias, if the contracts are signed, will join Ty Burrell of Modern Family as one of the three main “Human” roles. Burrell  is said to be playing a lazy (I know he will play it “Bumbling” I am willing to bet he draws inspiration from Peter Sellers Inspector Jacques Clouseau) Interpool Inspector.

Gervais is no stranger to The Muppets stage, he shot a cameo for the first movie, but like many scenes shot in Hollywood, the scene didn’t make the final cut. The real question is, will Gervais have to sing like the first movie? I can’t remember him singing except while in his The Office character, who wasn’t supposed to be able to sing, that was the funny part.

Director James Bobin is returning for the sequel along with the rest of the Muppet crew. The as yet untitled The Muppets II is set to hit theaters in late 2013.

Via: THR


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.

Source: /Film

Academy Award winning actor Christoph Waltz is going from something completely different by signing up to play an Interpol agent in the sequel to last year’s hit The Muppets. Waltz, who will next be seen as a bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, has signed on the dotted line to appear with Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang in the next Muppet movie, according to Variety.

“We kind of felt like we completed Gary’s story in the first one,” screenwriter Nicholas Stoller said in a recent interview with Coming Soon. “[H]e’s mostly interested in writing stuff for him to be in, which makes sense, right? He didn’t want to go on and write the next one. I was like, ‘Do you care if I do it with James?’ He’s like, ‘Of course not.'”

James is James Bobin, director of the last Muppets movie and creator of Flight of the Conchords.

More news as it develops.

Source: Coming Soon

Nicholas Stoller Talks Plans For Muppets 2

As if it were ever in doubt, the official word has come down from on-high that the Muppets sequel is officially a go.  Considering the buckets of cash that Walt Disney Pictures made on the first flick, this one was pretty much a no-brainer.  So far, they have it slotted for a summer 2013 release, though just how realistic this is remains to be seen.

Returnees to the Muppet pack include director James Bobin and co-writer Nicholas StollerJason Segel, who helped to co-write the first installment, will not be returning, so it looks like Bobin will be standing in for him (let’s hope he knows how to write).  The two have been working on the new script for a few weeks now.  Spoilers regarding the new movie include a possible cameo by Segel and the introduction of some new Muppets.

In a recent interview with Collider, Stoller had a few things to say about the upcoming project.  About the official green light:

“I will say, it is a caper. It is a comedy caper… They [Disney] 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 [in 2013], 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.”

…and about the plot they’re looking at:

“Yeah, I think it’s similar to [‘The Great Muppet Caper’] in that [that film] 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.”

Fans of the older films may have something to look forward to if their intention is to get back to the wacky roots of the Muppets from the Henson days.  Hopefully, this time around the movie won’t receive cries of “Communist!” from some less-than-intelligent news sources.

For the full interview with Stoller, check out Collider.

After the successful revival of Jim Henson‘s Muppet franchise, you would think that Jason Segel would want to continue work alongside his Muppet pals – wrong. Even though The Muppets was a box office hit, the movie’s co-writer and star has decided to step aside and let others take over from where he left off. James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller are set to write the new Muppets movie.

On top of bummer news, it’s just been reported that Segel won’t even come back to reprise his role as Gary.

According to Bleeding Cool:

Between promoting Five Year Engagement, work on Knocked Up sequel This Is 40 and presumably another season of How I Met Your Mother, there’s just no time left in the day [for Segel] to do proper justice to a Muppets sequel…

During a recent press junket for the upcoming Jeff Who Lives at Home,  Jason (via an interview with Collider) was asked where he stood on his involvement in the sequel:

“It’s true but it’s totally amicable. My goal was to bring the Muppets back and I did that leaving them in very good hands, my writing partner and James Bobin the director. I did what I set out to do, and now I wanna pursue more human-related projects… All I wanted to do was to set the stage for them to do whatever they wanted. I’m sure I’ll return in some capacity here and there, but that was half a decade of my life. Five years of hard work. I’m ready for a little puppet break.”

This is rather dis-heartening to hear, given that Jason was such a pivotal part in bringing The Muppets to a newer generation. Plus, he was so damn good in it too. The man sure put a smile on my face.

On the other hand, human characters never recur in Muppet movies anyway, do they?

Source: Bleeding Cool

Even though it had been over ten years since the last Muppets film, their comeback this past year has brought them back to the public eye. They presented at the Oscars and won Best Original Song for their song titled, “Man or Muppet”, what could be better? Well, it has just been announced that The Muppets have been confirmed for a sequel. But hold your horses, Jason Segel has already stated that he will not be involved in the film as a screenwriter.

Segel may come back in an acting capacity, but with his ongoing work on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, and films due to hit theaters this year such as: Jeff Who Lives at HomeThe Five-Year Engagement, and This is Forty  he is making sure to keep himself pretty busy. Good news is that despite Segel not appearing in the film, Gary his creation, could possibly be part of the film  seeing a Muppets director James Bobin and original co-writer Nicholas Stoller are set to pen the script for the sequel very soon.

Of course the big elephant in the room, is the possibility of Frank Oz being part of the sequel.  After being offered the opportunity to return as the voice of iconic characters Animal, Miss Piggy, and Fozzy Bear; he decided to turn it down and publicly announce that :

“I wasn’t happy with the script. I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”

Could the movies success, and popularity allow for the wounds of being beat to the punch with a new Muppets film finally be put to rest or will he really not be involved in this upcoming film as well.  The sky is the limit my friend, but for now we have another Muppets film to look forward to, and I can’t wait.