Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Muppets Trailers

There's a new Muppet movie on the horizon!  I'm actually geeking out about this harder than I though I would.

There's a long and illustrious history as to how this new Muppet movie came to be.  Disney has been trying to buy the Muppets for quite some time.  Back in 1990, it looked like Disney and Jim Henson had finally inked a deal.  But then...the sudden and untimely passing of Jim Henson.  Disney cancelled the deal, so as not to look like graverobbers.   Disney and the Muppets still worked closely together, though, having produced the Muppet movies The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, and the Muppet show revival Muppets Tonight.  Disney finally acquired the Muppets back in 2004, and they've been working to re-introduce the brand through TV specials and direct-to-DVD movies, such as The Muppets Wizard of Oz and the recent Christmas special, A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa.

Enter Jason Segel.  A few years back, Segel was the writer, producer, and star of a romantic comedy called Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  I've never seen the film, but apparently our protagonist -- Segel's character -- tries to forget Sarah Marshall by channeling his creative energy into creating a rock opera based on Dracula to be performed entirely with puppets.  When it came time to actually stage this for the film's conclusion, Segel contacted the Muppet folks.  The Muppet folks gladly obliged.  While they were filming the scene, Segel struck up a rapport with the Muppet folks, admitted his lifelong fandom for the Muppets, and before he knew it, he was in the head offices of Disney Studios pitching his idea for a new Muppet movie.  Disney gave the project the green light.  This was back in 2008 or so.  There have been many stops and starts in development, but when James Bobin, co-creator and director of the cult classic comedy Flight of the Conchords signed on to direct, and with a quick re-write of the script by the folks at Pixar, the final pieces fell into place, and filming began last fall.

The plot is thus:  our hero is Walter, a Muppet-looking fellow who is a lifelong fan of the Muppets, as they are the only people who know of who looks like him.  When Walter learns of a plan by the villainous Tex Richman to demolish the Muppet Theatre and drill for oil beneath, Walter sets out to reunite the Muppets and stage a show to raise the money to buy back the Muppet Theatre and stop Tex Richman.   Walter is joined in his quest by his best friend Gary (played by Segel) and Gary's girlfriend Mary (played by the always adorable Amy Adams).  Chris Cooper will be playing the evil Tex Richman.  It's just not a Muppet movie without celebrity cameos, and some of the known cameos include Jack Black, George Clooney, Billy Crystal, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ben Stiller.

So there's been a bunch of trailers released for The Muppets over the past few months.  The first one was a spoof of romantic comedy trailers, and was in front of Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides.

The second one was in front of The Hangover Part II, and was a spoof of the The Hangover Part II trailer. We also catch two of the celebrity cameos in this one: Wanda Sykes and Danny Trejo.

The third one rips on Green Lantern and was in front of Green Lantern:

Following the frustration of Segel's voice over in that one, we finally got a real trailer this past weekend. I'm guessing, it being a Disney production and all, it'll be in theatres in front of Cars 2 this Friday.

The Muppets hits theatres on November 23.

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