'The Muppets': Where's Elmo?

2:02 PM PST 11/17/2011 by Matthew Belloni
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Moviegoers might be disappointed to learn that the character does not appear in Disney's reboot.

This story originally appeared in the Nov. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Fans of Elmo might be let down to learn that the character does not appear in Disney's Nov. 23 reboot The Muppets.

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Among the disappointed is star and co-writer Jason Segel, who was rebuffed in ironic fashion. "I wrote a scene where we were trying to get Elmo to be the celebrity host of The Muppet Show, anda team of lawyers tells us no," Segel said Nov. 9 on Ryan Seacrest's radio show. "[Then] that's what actually happened -- a team of lawyers told us Elmo wasn't available."

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Disney bought the Muppets from the Jim Henson estate in 2004, but Sesame Street characters remain with the Children's Television Workshop. Crossovers have occurred, but studio attorneys apparently decided against Elmo. Joked Seacrest, "Can you imagine going to law school, and that's what you're defending?" Disney declined comment.

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