A couple weeks ago it was reported that Flight of the Conchords director James Bobin has signed on to direct the new Muppet film for Walt Disney Pictures. The screenplay written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), was titled The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made, but has now been renamed The Greatest Muppet Movie Of All Time. In my opinion, a much better title — but can the movie live up to the title? The Playlist has talked to someone who has read the script and has a few details about the plot of the film.
They story follows a man named Gary, his girlfriend named Mary and the man’s life-long nondescript, brown puppet best friend Walter must round up and convince the now retired entertainers from the original Muppet Show to help save the famous television studio that the original variety series was filmed in. The film’s evil villain, Tex Richman, is due to take over the property, and wants to destroy the theater and drill for oil underneath.
The anonymous scooper calls the the screenplay is a “solid attempt at recapturing what made The Muppet Show and the first two Muppet movies so great, but The Great Muppet Movie of All Time is no Great Muppet Caper.” He complains that the story ius set almost entirely in the world of showbusiness, which doesn’t allow for many sequences with the Muppets “out in the real world”, which is a shame.
Stoller and Segel have fun with the characters, are aware of what made the Muppet early years so great (winks to the audience, friendly musical numbers, single gag repetition, friendship and togetherness being the answer to everything), and hit the mark 65% of the time.
While the script reviewer has some problems with the story, the quote above is very reassuring as many of these things have been lacking from the Muppet productions released over the last decade. You can read the full review on the playlist.