I’ve been so ridiculously pumped for the new Muppets movie, ever since it was first announced like two years ago. In all that time, I never stopped, even for a second, to consider the movie might suck.
And then I went and ready this Hollywood Reporter piece and was instantly hit with that bad feeling of trepidation.
The old Muppets guard — a group of writers and performers involved in creating the franchise — is eager for the neglected troupe to shine again, almost desperate in their longing for the film to work. But though they have not yet seen it, some wonder whether screenwriter and star Segel — an obsessed Muppets fan — has a true grasp of the characters they helped create.
A small example is in one of the many trailers Disney has released, when Fozzie makes a fart joke. “We wouldn’t do that; it’s too cheap,” says another Muppets veteran. “It may not seem like much in this world of [Judd] Apatow humor, but the characters don’t go to that place.”
There is a list of similar concerns: Kermit would never live in a mansion, as he does in this movie. The Muppets, depicted in the script as jealous of Kermit’s wealth, would not have broken up in bitterness. The script “creates a false history that the characters were forced to act out for the sake of this movie,” says an old Muppets hand.
And this from Frank Oz, legendary puppeteer: “I wasn’t happy with the script,” he said bluntly. “I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”