Kermit as Mogul, Farting Fozzie Bear: How Disney's Muppets Movie Has Purists Rattled

2:04 PM PST 10/20/2011 by Kim Masters
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Scott Garfield/Disney
Kermit the Frog and Wanda Sykes in "The Muppets"

Some of the old guard wonder whether screenwriter and star Jason Segel has a true grasp of the characters they helped create.

THE NEXT BIG MUPPETS PROJECT?: If the new movie does well, a biopic about Jim Henson could go forward

When rookie Aussie scribe Christopher Weekes wrote the screenplay The Muppet Man, a fanciful take on the life of Muppets creator Jim Henson, who died in 1990, it was designed as a writing sample. In short order, it topped the 2009 Black List of unofficial "most liked" screenplays, scored Weekes work on a number of studio projects and found its way to the Henson Co., which came on as a producer. Disney, which already was working with the company to reboot the Muppets franchise, got involved with the project in late 2010. Henson and Disney are mum on plans for the biopic, but the performance of The Muppets' relaunch surely will determine whether it moves forward anytime soon. In the meantime, Henson Co. CEO Lisa Henson has brought on a new writer: David Magee, who penned the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Finding Neverland, about Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie.  -- Jay A. Fernandez

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