And it was a hit, so a sequel was inevitable.
The title was originally announced as being The Muppets...Again! but that was changed somewhere along the ways to Muppets Most Wanted. The popular speculation was that it was changed because it was too easy to make that title condescending and negative. For example, "The Muppets? Again? Blech." So we get a new title.
Pretty much all the same behind-the-scenes crew is coming back, except for co-writer and star Jason Segel. He was instrumental in getting this franchise going again, and in interviews, he says that now that it's back, he feels his work is done. Nicholas Stoller, who co-wrote the first film with Segel, is back to write it, and James Bobbin, the veteran Flight of the Concords director, is back directing.
But with Segel gone, that means we need some new token humans. This time out, we get Ricky Gervais, who's a ruthless European crime lord, and Ty Burrell (the dad on Modern Family) as the Interpol agent hot on his trail. Fun trivia fact: Burrell's role was originally offered to Christoph Waltz, he of the Tarantino films Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. Oh, and Tina Fey shows up, as well.
The plot, according to Wikipedia, follows the Muppets, who, after the successful comeback in the first film, are off on a European tour. But the ruthless jewel smuggler Constantine -- who's Kermit's evil doppleganger and the boss of Gervais's character -- wants to take advantage of this for his own nefarious plans. So mistaken identity hijinks abound.
Let's look at the trailer, shall we?
Is it just me, or does this just kind of...feel straight-to-video? It's not popping, it's not grabbing me, it's not tugging those ol' nostalgia heartstrings the way the hype for the first movie did. It doesn't help that Disney got their direct-to-movie voiceover guy to do the voice over for this trailer. It's just...I don't know, it's not working for me.
Muppets Most Wanted hits theatres on the first day of Spring...March 21, 2014.
Oh, I need a thumbnail for when I share this on the social networks. They haven't released a poster yet, so here's a new promotional still of the whole gang.