For those who've already seen or heard about the Dracula puppet musical portion of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the sequence is more than just a plot device for star and writer Jason Segel. The actor really does love puppets and was actually working on Dracula Musical in real life a few years ago. Segel was even able to secure the Henson Company to create the puppets used in Sarah Marshall.
So when it came time for the actor to pitch movie ideas to Disney, he surprised everyone in the room with a fully plotted-out revitalization of the Muppet Movie franchise.
The project is now a go and we couldn't help but dig a bit for information during our exclusive interview with Segel recently. The actor was very excited to talk about the project.
"I'm thrilled!" Beamed Segel. "Enough of the Muppets in Space and Muppets in the Old West."
I confessed to Segel that I am actually a bit of a closet Muppet fan myself. I still have the collectable Burger King glasses from The Great Muppet Caper.
"Oh my God! How cool!?!" said Segel in response. Definitely not the reaction I'd get from most people after my confession.
So how exactly did this new Muppet Movie came together?
"The Henson Company designed the puppets for Forgetting Sarah Marshall and they offered me a tour of the Muppet Studios on La Brea, which I could not have been more excited about.
"So I showed up and there were no Muppets there. I said, 'Where are the Muppets?' and they told me, 'We don't control the Muppets any more. We've sold them to Disney.' And I just got this weird fire in my belly like 'Are you f***ing kidding me?'
"So I went to Disney for this general meeting and halfway through I couldn't contain myself and I said, 'I'm very flattered to be here, but the only thing I want to do with you guys at the moment is write the new Muppet Movie.' There was this weird smattering of laughter and confused silence and I said, 'No, I'm serious.' I'd already thought of the pitch, so I said 'Here's what the movie is about.' And I gave them literally the entire movie ... It's bringing it back to the early '80s movies of The Muppets putting on a show. I don't know, they became like a novelty act over the past few years, but the original ones, the characters were written as though they were actors. And so we're going to do that and bring back the celebrity cameos. I think it's going to be really cool. I'm excited!"
So now the project is a done deal and Sarah Marshall director Nick Stoller is co-writing the script with Segel. This will be the first theatrical Muppet feature since 1999's Muppets From Space.
So what celebrities might be joining for cameos?
"Everyone who has heard about it, the first thing they say is, "You're writing me a part."
Segel is mum on the plot details, but we did manage to land a few tidbits. "The plot is completely figured out. It's top secret. I guarantee that it will delight audiences. I can tell you that there is a good section of it in Los Angeles and that the actual Muppet Studios on La Brea are involved."
Is anyone else out there as excited about a new Muppet Movie as I am? Post a comment below and let me know what you think.
More to come on the new Muppet Movie as we hear it!