I have no idea why I’ve always gotten so much enjoyment out of watching the adventures of a forlorn frog, his judo chopping pig girlfriend, and all their kooky friends (and no, it has nothing do with the fact that they all have some dude’s hand up their puppet rectums) but dagnabbit I love me some Muppets!
After not really doing much of any significance for a while, the 2011 feature film, The Muppets, returned the crazy gang to the pop culture limelight in a huge way, even picking up an Oscar for Best Song along the way. It was easily one of my favourite movies of that year, which is why I’ve been devouring any news about its sequel like Cookie Monster at a bake sale.
And after just being given tidbits to nibble on, we finally have a whole platter of details, plus a new image.
Up until now all we’ve known about the sequel is that Jason Siegel’s human character Gary would not be returning, but that Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell would now be joining the cast and that the film would be set in Europe.
EW.com now reports that the film will officially be titled The Muppets… Again! and will be a crime caper of sorts, “which finds the Muppet repertory company enjoying a triumphant world tour, only to become tangled up with a criminal mastermind named Constantine, who is out to steal an enormous diamond—and who happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit.” Gervais will be playing Constantine’s human sidekick, Fey will be a Russian prison guard and Burrell will be an Interpol agent trying to track Constantine down.
The script was co-written by Nicholas Stoller and returning director James Bobin, and Bobin revealed what it was that led them to this story:
“I always loved those classic jewel-heist capers from the ’60s and ’70s, so I was very keen to do a movie that had elements of that [genre] featuring the Muppets and comedy and songs.”
And just so you know, despite what it may look like, that will actually not be the normally heroic Kermit playing the role of the villainous Constantine, as everybody’s favourite frog himself told EW:
“We talked about putting me in makeup and having me play both roles, but we decided Constantine needed to be a guy who could do a Russian accent. And, you know, I’m a pretty accomplished actor and all, but besides the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films, I’ve only really ever played myself. The great thing is, I have like 3,000 relatives back in the swamp, so it was quite easy to find a frog who could play Constantine.”
Besides for froggy foes, Kermit also a had a few things to say about his new human co-stars:
“Ricky Gervais is kind of like a Muppet, if you think about it. He fits right in. He’s about our size. I actually think when this film ends it’s going to be hard to get rid of him. He keeps following me back to my hotel in London, which is very strange, but we’re thrilled to have him. Then, of course, we have Tina Fey—and it’s hard to beat Tina. I know her because I was lucky enough to get asked to do a little spot on one of the last episodes of 30 Rock. She’s playing a feisty prison guard named Nadya, which should be fun. Then we have Ty Burrell, who’s playing a French Interpol agent. But personally, I’m not going to be going to France for the French scenes. It’s best if I don’t go there. It’s a frog thing.”
The Muppets… Again! is currently shooting in London for its 21 March 2014 release date. To mentally prepare yourself, it’s probably best to meditate on one of life’s greatest questions: Are you a man or a muppet?