|Muppets Most Wanted|
|Directed by:||James Bobin|
|Produced by:||Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman|
|Written by:||James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller|
|Music by:|| Bret McKenzie (songs)|
Christophe Beck (score)
|Studio:|| Walt Disney Pictures|
The Muppets Studio
|Distributed by:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Release Date(s):||March 21, 2014|
|Preceded by:||The Muppets (2011)|
Muppets Most Wanted is a 2014 musical comedy film and is the sequel of the 2011 film The Muppets. It was announced in March 2012 that Disney was moving forward on the project with James Bobin (director of The Muppets) and Nick Stoller (co-writer of The Muppets) writing the screenplay. Bobin also returned to direct the film.
Filming began in late January 2013 at Pinewood Studios in London. Principle production in London wrapped on April 16, 2013 and filming moved to Los Angeles in May 2013. The film was released on March 21, 2014. The film's release date for Germany is set for May 29, 2014.
The film is a "comedy caper" set in Europe. Ricky Gervais stars as Dominic Badguy along with Ty Burrell as French Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon, Tina Fey as "a feisty prison guard named Nadya and a slew of cameos.
Following on from the end of their last film, the Muppets find themselves at a loss as to what to do next. Per the suggestion of their tour manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), the Muppets decide to embark on a world tour. Meanwhile, Constantine, the world's number one criminal and a complete dead ringer for Kermit, escapes from a Siberian Gulag, before making contact with Badguy, who turns out to be Constantine's subordinate; a position Constantine frequently reminds him of.
Arriving in Berlin, the Muppets intend to play in a shabby venue, but Dominic secures them a show at a more prestigious location. Becoming increasingly frustrated with the rest of the Muppets' ludicrous requests for the show and Miss Piggy's insistent hints at marriage, Kermit takes a stroll to calm down at the suggestion of Badguy. However, he is ambushed by a hooded Constantine, who slaps a fake mole on Kermit's right cheek, making him resemble Constantine. Constantine escapes and Kermit is arrested and taken to the Gulag in his place.
Constantine meets up with the rest of the Muppets, all believing him to be Kermit, except Animal. As the Berlin performance goes underway, Constantine and Badguy sneak off to steal a selection of paintings from a nearby museum. Meanwhile, after being locked in the Gulag, Kermit makes multiple escape attempts, each one thwarted by Gulag prison guard Nadya (Tina Fey). Nadya then orders Kermit to help organize the annual prison talent show.
The morning after the burglary, Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) and CIA agent Sam the Eagle begrudgingly form an alliance to apprehend the culprit, who Napoleon identifies as his nemesis "the Lemur", after discovering a coin-based calling card. Following instructions hidden behind one of the stolen paintings, Constantine and Badguy divert the course of the Muppet tour to Madrid as part of a plot to steal the crown jewels of Great Britain. Constantine informs the rest of the Muppets that they are permitted to perform any act they wish, much to the suspicion of Walter.
The Muppets perform in Madrid whilst Constantine and Badguy steal the next set of instructions to steal the crown jewels, destroying many busts in the process. In spite of a disastrous performance that sends the audience to sleep, the Muppets' performance receives critical acclaim. Sam and Napoleon deduce that the connection between the crimes in Berlin and Madrid is the Muppet tour, and the pair interrogate the Muppets - to little success. As the tour reaches Dublin, Walter discovers Badguy to be paying critics to write positive reviews, and Fozzie Bear realizes the resemblance between Kermit and Constantine. Fozzie and Walter figure out that Constantine is on the train posing as Kermit, and that Badguy is in on the scheme. Constantine sees that they have found him out, and attacks them, but Animal fends him off, and the three of them manage to escape the criminal by hopping on another train. They then figure that the best course of action is to go rescue Kermit.
At the climax of their performance in Dublin, Constantine proposes to Miss Piggy, who accepts with the pair intending to marry at the Tower of London. Arriving in London, Constantine and Badguy conspire to use the wedding as a distraction while Badguy uses a locket stolen in Dublin, along with the assistance of Bobby Benson's Baby Band, to steal the crown jewels. Fozzie, Walter, and Animal arrive at the Gulag and inform Kermit of Constantine's plot. The four use the prison show as a front to escape along with the rest of the prisoners, and they head to London, much to Nadya's dismay.
The wedding gets underway and Badguy disables the security systems to the crown jewels, successfully stealing them. Kermit interrupts the wedding ceremony, revealing Constantine to be nothing more than an imposter. Constantine escapes with Piggy as hostage in tow. Arriving at their helicopter, Constantine comes across Badguy (revealed to be the world's number two criminal "the Lemur" while donning a [lemur costume) with the [Imperial State Crown, before Badguy announces his intent to double-cross Constantine. Constantine responds by ejecting Badguy from the helicopter and taking flight with Piggy. Kermit intercepts and the rest of the Muppets use a "Muppet ladder" to stop the helicopter in its tracks, with the help of an irate Piggy.
Constantine and Badguy are arrested. After arriving in London, Nadya attempts to arrest Kermit once more for initiating the prison escape and "breaking her heart." The rest of the Muppets express to Nadya that if Kermit is arrested, than so shall they be. Nadya relents deciding Kermit belongs with them and drops the charges. The Muppet tour concludes at the Siberian Gulag where Constantine and Badguy are part of the prison show.
- Human Cast
- Ricky Gervais as Dominic, aka Number Two
- Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard
- Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon
- Cameo Performances By
- Sean "Diddy" Combs
- Céline Dion
- Dexter Fletcher
- Salma Hayek
- Tom Hiddleston
- Frank Langella
- Ray Liotta
- Silvana Lovin
- Ross Lynch
- Bridgit Mendler (Deleted Scene Only)
- Debby Ryan (Deleted Scene Only)
- Til Schweiger
- Peter Serafinowicz
- Danny Trejo
- Christoph Waltz
- Muppet Performers
- Steve Whitmire as Kermit the Frog, Beaker, Rizzo the Rat, Statler
- Eric Jacobson as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam the Eagle
- Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Waldorf, Zoot, Beauregard
- Bill Barretta as The Swedish Chef, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the King Prawn, Bobo the Bear
- David Rudman as Scooter, Janice
- Matt Vogel as Floyd Pepper, Camilla the Chicken, Lew Zealand, Sweetums, Crazy Harry, Robin the Frog
- Peter Linz as Walter
- Louise Gold as Annie Sue
- Mak Wilson as TBA
- Warrick Brownlow-Pike as TBA
- Director: James Bobin
- Writers: James Bobin and Nick Stoller
- Executive Producers: James Bobin, John G. Scotti
- Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
- Muppet Captain: Bill Barretta
- Original Songs: Bret McKenzie
- Muppet Designers and Builders: Puppet Heap
- Argentina - March 20, 2014
- Philippines / United States - March 21, 2014
- United Kingdom - March 28, 2014
- Australia / New Zealand - April 3, 2014
- Netherlands - April 16, 2014
- Singapore - April 24, 2014
- Germany - May 1, 2014
- France - May 7, 2014
- When initially asked about the prospects of a sequel prior to the release of The Muppets in November 2011, Jason Segel said: "We haven't really started thinking about a sequel yet. We're just waiting to see how this goes." When asked about making a stand alone film rather than a direct sequel, he replied: "I think that's a little bit more Muppety... The Great Muppet Caper is so different from The Muppets Take Manhattan which is so different from The Muppet Movie... I think that's the better approach."
- On February 13, 2012, during a British promotional appearance for The Muppets on This Morning on ITV, Kermit and Miss Piggy were asked about rumors of The Muppet Show returning to television; Kermit responded as follows: "If this movie does as well as we like and people want to see us, sure, we'll probably do more movies. And I mean it's nothing official - not official. But there's all this 'hush-hush Hollywood talk." Piggy turned to Kermit to add "Well, make it official. You can do that." Kermit: "Ok, it's official."
- On March 3, 2012 it was announced in Variety that James Bobin and Nick Stoller would pen the screenplay for the sequel.
- In a March 6, 2012 article from Guardian.co.uk, it was announced that Disney is planning an idea for a new prime-time television show featuring the Muppets following the upcoming success of the sequel, as well as new iPhone applications with new Muppet content.
- In a March 14, 2012 appearance on The View, Kermit and Miss Piggy were asked by Elisabeth Hasselbeck if there is going to be a sequel to The Muppets. Kermit responded, "Well I think there is a very good chance of that. We are happy to say, yes. Yes, we are thrilled about that." His remark garnered a thunderous applause from the studio audience.
- In a March 21, 2012 interview with MTV News, Kermit the Frog and Walter talked about Jason Segel's departure from the franchise as they prep for The Muppets 2.
- In a March 2012 interview, Jason Segel (co-writer, producer, and star of The Muppets) said that he will not return for the sequel, stating: "I have handed off the Muppets to my writing partner [Nick Stoller] and to James Bobin. My goal was to bring the Muppets back and I feel like I accomplished that. I feel like they're in really good hands. But it was half a decade of my life, I just want a little breather, and I know that they're going to nail it."
- In an April 13, 2012 article from Collider.com, Nick Stoller revealed that the film is planned to be a comedy caper, will introduce new Muppets characters, will have a possible cameo for Jason Segel, and that Disney is hoping for a Summer 2013 release. He and James Bobin started writing the script on April 12, 2012. They wrote 13 pages after outlining the entire movie over the past few weeks.
- While Nick Stoller said the film could possibly have a cameo for Jason Segel, Segel later stated that he won't appear in the film.
- At the premiere of his movie The Five-Year Engagement, Stoller told New York Magazine that Walter will return: "'Walter is coming back... Come on, you saw the first one, right? The arc of the story was, 'Am I a man or a Muppet?' Gary chose 'I am a man.' So if you were making something called The Mannets, Gary would be in that. Walter chose to be a Muppet. He realized he's a Muppet.' But will Walter be shuffled into the Muppets' deep bench, or will he be a plot driver in the sequel? 'He is not making a cameo,' said Stoller. 'He is heavily involved in the story.' Still, Muppet purists shouldn't fret about the focus: "It's in the early stages, so everything could change, but right now it's a Kermit-centric story, as a lot of the original movies were."
- Kermit and Piggy appeared at CinemaCon on April 24, 2012 to officially announce that a new movie is in development. The official Muppets Facebook page reported the news with a graphic.
- On October 31, it was announced that Christoph Waltz was in negotiations to star as an Interpol inspector in a cast that also includes a "Russian femme fatale and a male lead whose intentions are always in question", along with a "slew of cameos". The movie is to be set in Europe.
- It was reported on November 4 that producer Todd Lieberman and composer Bret McKenzie will return for the sequel, which begins filming in late January 2013 at Pinewood Studio in London.
- On December 8, it was announced that Ty Burrell would star in the film as the Interpol inspector (the role Christoph Waltz was previously in negotiations for; but declined due to scheduling conflicts). In a video interview posted later that month, Waltz said he'd been talking about the movie again and may still appear, but "it might not be a proper part, it might just be one of these little what-they-call cameos."
- On December 16, Ricky Gervais confirmed that he would star in the film. Gervais tweeted about it: "I have just signed up to play the lead in the next Muppet movie. I have the biggest trailer but Kermit will spend some time in my sink." Gervais commented on his role in the film on his website, saying: "You may have read that I have accepted the lead role in the next Muppet movie. I didn't so much accept it as jump at the chance. I f***ing love The Muppets. (I'll probably have to tone down my language for Disney.) We start filming in January. I can't wait. I'll be hangin' with those cuddly little critters all day."
- In a December 20th radio interview with WMMR's Preston and Steve, Bill Barretta (via phone from the film's pre-production in London) stated that Tina Fey is in negotiations to work on the project. He also mentioned that the producers are looking at Christmas 2013 release.
- On January 9, 2013, reports surfaced that Tina Fey was in the final negotiations to play "a Russian gulag prison guard" in the film.
- According to a January 2013 report from SlashFilm, the working title for the film is "The Muppets... Again."
- In January 2013, Disney announced a release date of March 21, 2014 for the film.
- On January 16, 2013, Ricky Gervais appeared on the British daytime television program This Morning and discussed his excitement for working with the Muppets.(YouTube)
- On January 22, 2013, Variety reported that Ray Liotta has been cast in a cameo role for the film.
- In a radio interview on Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show Ricky Gervais mentioned filming a scene for the new Muppet movie with Christoph Waltz, confirming speculation that Waltz would still be in the movie despite not playing the starring role.
- On January 30, 2013, Entertainment Weekly published and exclusive "first look" at the film, featuring an interview with Kermit the Frog. A little later the same day, the Muppets' UK Facebook account posted a variant Muppet cast image with writer/director Bobin standing in for Sweetums.
- On February 7, 2013, German actor Til Schweiger confirmed to media outlets that he would be filming a cameo appearance with Ricky Gervais and the Muppets for one day in February. On February 15th, actress Fleur Poad (appearing in the film as "Berlin Woman") tweeted about Schweiger's time on the set.
- Eve Stewart, a production designer on the film, let it slip that she is working on a scene featuring Miss Piggy's wedding at the Tower of London.
- James Bobin noted in an interview with Empire magazine that Muppeteer Louise Gold will be taking part in the movie, performing one of her original Muppet Show characters Annie Sue.
- On June 13, 2013, Disney announced that the film has been retitled "Muppets Most Wanted."
- The film was officially released on March 21, 2014 in the US.
Trailers and Clips
- Entertainment Weekly - A first look at the Muppets sequel, 'Muppets...Again!' (1/30/13)
- Disney Press Release: "The Muppets... Again!" Kicks Off Production in London