(Walt Disney Pictures) The Muppets are coming! Walt Disney Pictures has gathered a flawless team of writers, directors, and composers to breathe new life into Jim Henson’s fuzzy friends. Jason Segel and Nick Stoller -- the writer-director team behind 2008 smash success Forgetting Sarah Marshall -- penned the script, while James Bobin -- co-creator of HBO series Flight of the Conchords -- directs Bret McKenzie -- one half of the aforementioned musical Kiwi comedy team -- composed the film's songs.
Despite two TV movies that flew mostly under the radar in 2002 and 2005 (It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz), the iconic Hensen creations haven't been around since 1999 (Muppets from Space). The original Muppet Movie came to theaters in 1979, and a slew of fantastic sequels followed throughout the next two decades. I, like many others, grew up with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and the gang. The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and Muppet Treasure Island (1996) had hilarious celebrity cameos, from John Cleese to Michael Caine and of course, Tim Curry as Long John Silver.
In an age when kids are glued to handheld video games and everything must be fast-paced and 3D in order to not get left behind, can a new generation fall in love with the Muppets?
Jason Segel and Amy Adams say yes. A lifelong fan of the characters, Segel tackled bringing them back to life for both kids and adults. "I just really wanted to pay homage to those movies that meant so much to me growing up. I wanted the experience where parents...our generation of kids...we'll remember those great movies, those great moments. And then also being able to have our age introduce our kids to the Muppets." He also adds that he had Adams in mind for his co-star and love interest while working on the script. Their characters, Gary and Mary, have a sort of sweet naivety about the world -- a childlike innocence that makes them the perfect pair to bring the Muppets out of retirement.
Segel's work on Forgetting Sarah Marshall showed audiences his ability to weave warmth into an outrageously comedic story. I have no doubt this Muppet movie will live up to its predecessors and beyond. The official summary introduces us to Gary (Segel) and Mary (Adams) from Smalltown, USA (har har) on vacation in Los Angeles with their friend Walter, "the world's biggest Muppet fan." They discover that a loathsome oil man (Chris Cooper) plans to destroy the Muppet Theater in order to drill for newly discovered oil underneath. Walter, Mary, and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets to host The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever to raise enough money to save the theater.
The Muppets has had one of the most successful marketing campaigns this past summer, releasing spoofs of current popular films. A parody romantic comedy titled “Green with Envy” came out before Pirates of the Caribbean. For old fans of the Muppets (i.e., me), the news that they were finally returning to the big screen was a revelation. More mock trailers followed: “The Fuzzy Pack” (The Hangover), “Being Green” (The Green Lantern), and “The Pig with a Froggy Tattoo” (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).
This latest trailer is, apparently, the last of the parodies. This time, they poke fun at a series of films – even their own! Paranormal Activity 3, Happy Feet, Puss in Boots, Breaking Dawn, and even their first spoof trailer come under fire. There’s only a month to go until the film’s release, and these trailers have easily resurrected the Muppets in the hearts and minds of moviegoers. With such a talented team behind the helm, the Muppets are bound to come barreling back in style.
Why We’re Excited: Kermit the Frog, Jason Segel, Musical Numbers, Mnah-Mnah!
Check out the previous Muppets trailers below!
Walt Disney Pictures' 'The Muppets' is scheduled to premiere in U.S. theaters Wednesday, November 23, 2011.