Writer Nick Stoller On 'The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time'
With the success of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the hilarious looking spin-off film Get Him to the Greek featuring Russell Brand reprising his role as raucous British rocker Aldous Snow, director Nick Stoller has quite the magic touch with R-rated comedy. So who would've thought that Stoller and Jason Segel would be the right guys to write a more tame, but potentially no-less-hilarious comedy with The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time, which will be the first Muppet movie since the lackluster '99 film Muppets from Space. ComingSoon recently met up with Stoller who talked about exactly how he's approaching the iconic puppets.
Though Stoller and Segel (who is also starring) are only writing the script, they have been working closely with director James Bobin to deliver a Muppet movie that is not only respectful of the Henson characters, but is fun for the whole family by capturing the magic and humor that made The Muppet Movie so great.
"Muppets is I think for everyone. When you watch the original Muppet movie, we're going for that tone of 'The Muppet Movie,' 'The Great Muppet Caper,' 'Muppets Take Manhattan,' that kind of awesome original tone. It's like watching the original 'Simpsons.' There's a joke every second, they're very funny, they appeal to kids and adults, and that's what we're going for, we're going for that kind of tone. I always call The Muppets, the 'gateway drug for comedy nerds.' It's the first comedy we're introduced to, at least people our age. That's what we're going for with that. It will be for the whole family I guess, and for anyone who likes Muppets."
In case anyone is worried that people like Segel, Stoller & Bobin, who are technically outside of the Henson creative team, will ruin the legacy of the Muppets, Stoller says they've been working with plenty of Muppet experts who are keeping them in line, and when you hear just how deep into Muppet lore Bobin's mind is, you'll be impressed:
"We just had a table read on Saturday and the puppeteers, they've been working with those characters forever, so they're giving notes, and we have a muppet expert who gave notes. We also have 'The Muppet Bible' that Jim Henson and Frank Oz wrote, which has all the rules of the muppets. The three of us are kind of Muppet freaks. I love Muppets. I'm a fan, Segel is a fanatic, and James Bobin knows so many Muppets. He knows Muppets that I never heard of and that even Jason hadn't heard of. He'd say, 'I think this scene calls for Uncle Deadly' and we'd be like, 'Who is Uncle Deadly?' and he'd go on YouTube and show me this strange vulture creature. That's kind of amazing."
Amazing indeed. I'm already looking forward to this, even though IMDb says it won't be released until 2012. I've always loved the Muppets and have fond memories of watching "Muppets Tonight" in the 90's, and am always interested in watching all of the classic bits from decades past. Stoller sounds dedicated and educated on all things Muppets, and I think this trio of talent has the right stuff to bring the Muppets back to comedic glory. Hopefully this actually heads into production sooner than later, but we'll definitely keep you updated on the latest regarding The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time. Anyone excited as I am?