When Kermit and company hit the big screen in 2011′s The Muppets, it had been over a decade since their last cinematic outing in 1999′s Muppets From Space. Thankfully, the wait for their next film won’t be quite so long. The Muppets… Again is on track to open just over a year from now, and Disney is already getting the hype machine started with a plot synopsis and a couple of first look images — including one of human star Ricky Gervais. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Ray Liotta‘s best known roles haven’t exactly been family friendly. He’s still most famous for playing the lead in the gangster pic Goodfellas, was most recently seen illegal gambling ring in Killing Them Softly, and will next pop up in The Iceman to menace Michael Shannon’s hitman. Just last week, he signed on to star in Robert Rodriguez’s violent neo-noir Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

His newest project, however, will send him in the complete opposite direction. Liotta has signed on for a part in the upcoming Muppets sequel, rumored to be called The Muppets… Again. He joins a very funny human cast that also includes Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell (with a possible cameo by Christoph Waltz). More details after the jump.

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Though Disney’s The Muppets sequel will be a big-screen release, Kermit and company apparently haven’t forgotten their small-screen roots. Last month, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell signed to play two key human characters in the film. Now, Tina Fey is rounding out the cast as the female lead.

The plotline and other details are being kept vague for now, but thanks to a tipster who worked in production on the last film, we also have some word on what the title might be. Read on after the jump.

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After the jump:

  • Christoph Waltz might appear in The Muppets 2 after all
  • Has Transformers 4 replaced Brenton Thwaites with Jack Reynor?
  • Berandal (a.k.a. The Raid 2) announces new cast members
  • Walton Goggins promises to be funny in G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  • Paul Rudd doesn’t know much about Anchorman 2 but hopes it’ll be good
  • Samuel L. Jackson has things to say about Unbreakable
  • Paramount and the Puzo estate settle the Godfather suit
  • A Good Day to Die Hard debuts two explosive TV spots
  • Trick ‘R Treat‘s Sam has a holiday greeting for you

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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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Could Sean Connery return to the Bond franchise? Believe it or not, it almost happened a third time. Also after the jump:

  • The Muppets shoots this winter, Bret McKenzie returns to write more songs
  • Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore has ideas for a sequel
  • Robert Zemeckis isn’t planning a Roger Rabbit sequel
  • Daniel Craig says Dragon Tattoo sequel needs a script
  • Watch a montage of A Good Day to Die Hard filming
  • Star Trek Into Darkness will be released in Dolby Atmos
  • Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talks about Red 2

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The latest All-Dwarf poster for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey seems to confirm a new Hollywood movie poster design trend — filling a one-sheet with an overcrowded gathering of characters. From what I can tell, the new trend started with the final Toy Story 3 poster, which was created by BLT Communications — a marketing department Disney regularly employs. The design was pretty great, and almost everyone who wrote about it online loved it. So its no surprise that the design was copied by a few international marketing agencies over the past year. The design concept was reused by BLT for The Muppets campaign. And this week Warner Bros has released the all-dwarf Hobbit poster created by marketing company Ignition Print. See them all compared after the jump.

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Original Muppeteer Jerry Nelson Has Died

Jerry Nelson, one of the original Muppeteers hired by Jim Henson, died yesterday (August 23rd 2012). Even though you might not recognize the name, all of you have grown up with Jerry’s performances. He puppeteered almost 1,000 named Henson puppet characters during his 47-year career, credited for performing over 120 different named characters on The Muppet Show, and almost double that on Sesame Street.

Jerry was fighting with various health issues for the last decade, and in 2004 announced he would no longer be puppeteering full-time (although he continued to provide the voice for his Sesame Street characters into the recent seasons). Tough Pigs broke the news.

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