The Muppets' Jason Segel On Future of the Film Franchise (Video)

5:39 PM PST 11/14/2011 by Sophie Schillaci

The writer and comedic actor tells THR why the classic characters need to return to comedy.

It’s been 12 years since the Muppets last appeared on the big screen in 1999’s Muppets from Space, and thanks to one celebrity super-fan, Kermit and the crew are heading back to theaters this month. But what’s next for Jim Henson’s classic characters?

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"The goal of this movie was to set the stage for the Muppets to do whatever they want," co-writer and star Jason Segel told The Hollywood Reporter at the film's Nov. 12 premiere. "I think they should do movies and TV. It’s just, they’re such a positive comedic force and they need to be around and the forefront of comedy."
 
Segel was the driving force behind the franchise revival, hitting theaters on Nov. 23 via Disney. Along with longtime collaborator Nicholas Stoller, the writers crafted a family friendly story which gives life to a new Muppet named Walter, and sees Segel and co-star Amy Adams working to save the famed Muppet Theater from a devious oil tycoon (Chris Cooper).

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In an early script, Segel slipped in a line announcing the Muppets' return to ABC for a revamped version of The Muppet Show. Unfortunately for longtime and new fans -- and new converts -- Disney execs caught on quickly and cut the joke.  
 
“I have a four-year-old daughter and two years ago, she had no idea who the Muppets were,” said director James Bobin of the film’s importance. “For me it’s like, that is wrong. She should know who they are and I’m really pleased that now she does, and loves them.”
 
THR also spoke with Stoller outside the famed El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Blvd, where he admitted that the most difficult obstacle faced wasn’t necessarily the Muppet purists – but the sheer logistics.
 
“Honestly, the hardest thing about writing a Muppet movie is that every scene has 20 characters in it,” he said. “You’re already handed the best characters on earth.”

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