Friday, October 15, 2010

Will we really get "The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made"? Here's hoping

If Jason Segel somehow manages to screw up his very-long-gestating Muppet movie, I'd be genuinely surprised, because as the pieces have - very slowly - come together, it all seems to be coming together perfectly so far.

The latest pieces to fit into the puzzle are the humans, apart from Segel, who long ago swiped the human lead in this for himself, and now he's surrounded himself with people I always like to watch. Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones are all in negotiations to join the cast of what I believe is still titled "The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made."

In the movie, assuming it ever really happens, Adams would play Segel's character's girlfriend, Jones would play a TV executive, and best of all, Cooper would be the big bad, an oil man who - of course - wants to drill for black gold beneath the Muppets' studio.

And along with this casting news, it seems the story from Segel and co-writer Nicholas Stoller has changed in the many months since this was first announced. One of the benefits of making your movie at Disney, I suppose, is you probably constantly have really smart people giving you advice, and it seems that after table reads with Pixar folks like John Lasseter and others, the movie will now be loosely based on a Jim Henson idea originally titled "The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made." In Henson's pitch, Gonzo is hired to direct a film, but ends up blowing his entire budget on the first day, and turns to his Muppet friends to bail him out and help him finish the flick.

Sounds like a classic Muppets premise to me, and though I have no actual idea when filming is set to begin on all this, to be directed by "Flight of the Conchords" vet James Bobin, it still has a release date set of Christmas Day 2011, so Muppet fans like me, keep hope alive!

Just a short report after that today with one more bit of good news, then it's off to a busier than usual Friday on which I have to care for some dogs and cats along with the regular daily grind.

Coming together much faster than "The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made" is "Sopranos" creator David Chase's as-yet-still-untitled first feature film.

He's found his three relative unknowns to star in the rock 'n' roll coming of age flick set (natch) in New Jersey: John Magaro, Jack Huston and Will Brill (mission accomplished, I suppose, because I've never heard of any of them.) Even better, he's now hired guitarman-turned-actor-turned-garage-band-promoting-DJ Steven Van Zandt, aka Silvio on "The Sopranos," to supervise the music for this and serve as executive producer.

The movie, set to begin shooting in January in New York, follows a group of suburban New Jersey guys making their way during the 1960s as a rock band called the Twilight Zones. Many of Chase's "Sopranos" behind-the-camera running mates have followed that up by working on HBO's sublimely entertaining Atlantic City crime epic "Boardwalk Empire," so here's hoping Chase now finds similar success on the big screen.

OK, all I have for the big finale is the first five minutes or so of the upcoming animated (in 3D if you choose, I have to assume) flick "Megamind," set to come out Nov. 5 with the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill. Judging from this preview of sorts, the film should at least be very funny, and that's really usually all we can ask for from animated flicks nowadays. Enjoy the clip and have an at least excellent weekend. Peace out.

1 comment:

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