The European-set sequel to The Muppets has traded out Christoph Waltz for Ty Burrell, and now the film has added another TV comedy talent. Ricky Gervais is in talks for a major role in the film. He’ll be the lead, in fact — or at least the “lead human.” That’s a necessary distinction when talking about a Muppet movie.

For those who love classic Gervais work such as the office, but aren’t always wild about the tenor of his more recent stuff, this could be a pleasant bit of news. (Presumably, this won’t be a big Muppet-decorated comedy about atheism.) In fact, Gervais is noted as a fan of the characters, making him an appropriate successor to Jason Segel, the fan who last starred in a Muppet movie.

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An Oscar-winner is being replaced by an Emmy-winner in the upcoming sequel to The Muppets. Writer and directors Nicholas Stoller and James Bobin are developing a follow up to Disney’s hit 2011 film and had been talking to Christoph Waltz to play one of the leading rolls. Waltz, however, had to bow out and now it looks like they’re going to bring in Ty Burrell to fill the part. Burrell, best known for his award-winning role on Modern Family, will play an Interpol Inspector at the center of the European set story. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The first details have been revealed for the sequel to Disney’s 2011 hit The Muppets and they’re a Bingo. Christoph Waltz, best known for his Oscar-winning work with Quentin Tarantino, is currently in talks to star in The Muppets 2 (not the official title) as an Interpol inspector. The film will be set in Europe and while it’ll surely have dozens of cameos, the main human roles are this one as well as “a Russian femme fatale and a male lead whose intentions are always in question,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

As previously reported, the film was written by Muppets director James Bobin and the original’s co-writer Nicholas Stoller. Bobin will now, officially, return to direct as well. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Here’s a little change of course: James Bobin, who did a fine job directing The Muppets last year, is now set to direct a film called Agent Zigzag for New Line and Playtone Pictures.

The project sounds like a great, classic spy caper: it’s a true story about a criminal who became one of the most notorious double-agents of WWII. He appeared to work for German intelligence even as he was on the payroll of MI5. Read More »

There are long-simmering projects, and then there’s A Confederacy of Dunces. A cinematic adaptation of John Kennedy Toole‘s canonical novel has been in development since the early ’80s, and has gone through many hands in the decades since with no success. But Hollywood keeps trying, and now the latest big names to try and crack it could be Zach Galifianakis and The Muppets helmer James Bobin. More details after the jump.

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It’s not like Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang ever totally disappeared from the public eye, but last fall’s The Muppets definitely went a long way toward reinvigorating the franchise for a whole new generation. The film was a hit both critically and commercially, and it’s in no way surprising that Disney’s now getting the pieces together to move forward on the sequel.

What’s disappointing, however, is that it seems Jason Segel — who not only starred in, but also wrote and executive produced the The Muppets — won’t be involved in a screenwriting capacity. (Don’t freak out, Gary fans — it’s still possible he’ll star.) Instead, Muppets director James Bobin and original co-writer Nicholas Stoller have closed a deal to pen the script. More details after the jump. Read More »

Aside from a brief appearance by Miss Piggy and Kermit and a win for composer Bret McKenzie, this weekend’s Oscar ceremony was tragically light on the Muppets. But in just a few weeks, fans will be able to get their fill of the gang when the film hits DVD and Blu-ray.

Today, we have a preview of some of the bonus features from The Muppets, including a making-of featurette, a blooper reel, and a deleted scene — plus a clip of Kermit and Glee star Darren Criss performing “Rainbow Connection” for E!’s pre-Oscars show, just because. Watch them after the jump.

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If you walked out of The Muppets feeling like you were on top of the world, Bret McKenzie was a big reason. The actor/singer/songwriter, best known for his HBO series Flight of the Conchords, was hired by director James Bobin to write many of the brand new songs for characters like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo and others to sing in the Muppets triumphant return to the screen. And to that aim, McKenzie was a success. He was rewarded for his work with an Oscar-nomination for Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet,” which features Jason Segel’s character Gary and his brother, Walter the Muppet, signing about their true identities. It’s funny, clever, catchy and has a 50/50 shot at gold since only two songs are nominated.

We sat down to talk to McKenzie about the honor, his process integrating songs in the film, the song not being performed at the Oscars, as well as his upcoming role in a tiny film called The Hobbit and more. Watch the video interview after the jump. Read More »

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