by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
30 Things to Know About Muppets Most Wanted:
Producer Todd Lieberman said that since 2011’s The Muppets was an attempt to introduce the Muppets to a new generation and set up a foundation with a new character (Walter), this follow up, Muppets Most Wanted, will hopefully be “a boatload of fun,” with plenty of muppet craziness.
When asked about how the cynical comic Ricky Gervais fits in the film, Lieberman said that he is extremely funny, surprisingly not cynical, and almost comes across “muppet-like.”
Muppets Most Wanted picks up where The Muppets left off, though it goes in a completely different direction.
Oscar-winner Brett McKenzie is also doing the score on Muppets Most Wanted, and the soundtrack covers a wide range of musical styles.
On the cameo appearances in the film, Lieberman said: “We filled it with some pretty amazing people, from Oscar winners to Grammy winners to really recognizable actors. I think it’s going to be an insane spread of some very talented people.”
There will be a couple of Muppet characters in this film that weren’t in The Muppets.
Kermit does not play a dual-role in the film, because his doppelganger Constantine is played by a different actor.
Lieberman confirmed that they shot a sequence in the Tower of London, a location where major film crews have never been allowed to shoot in previously.
Says that a fun aspect of filming the muppets is that you can break the fourth wall, especially with self-referential humor.
On the challenge of shooting a muppet film, he said: “I mean, the technical aspects of making a Muppet movie are very challenging – we learned that with the first one. You have an exterior location like this that isn’t built three-and-a-half feet off the ground, so you have to have people lying on the ground and stuff them into small spaces.”
Lieberman said there will be a wedding in this film, though he refused to confirm which characters it involves.
Kermit says that he is more of an action hero in this muppet film than he has been in previous muppet films.
On his role, he said: “I’m sort of like an action hero. You will see me do things you haven’t seen me do before. Quite seriously. I’m kind of like a cross between James Bond and something Bruce Willis would do.”
Lieberman says that Tina Fey’s character develops a bit of a crush on him in this film.
On fellow cast member Ricky Gervais, Lieberman said: “Ricky is wonderful. I think he will probably become an honorary Muppet. He’s kind of our size and very funny and great playing opposite all us guys. We tend to be very broad actors. Ricky is very economical in his comedy.”
Robin may have a brief cameo in the film. Says that Miss Piggy is a bit of a diva on set, and she stays in her trailer if she’s not in the shooting that day. Walter’s character plays a central role in this film. The Muppet Theater from the previous film will not be in this film.
Kermit says that there aren’t a lot of classic Muppet songs in this film, because they want to move forward with the Muppets rather than dwell on the past.
This film will not feature Amy Adams or Jason Segel.
Miss Piggy has a solo musical number in the sequel.
She says there is lots of romance in this film, and hints that the wedding in the film may be hers.
Says her special “white dress” in this film was designed by Vivienne Westwood.
On the new muppet Walter, she said: “Well, I still consider Walter new. He keeps messing up my coffee order. Until he gets that right, we’re going to keep calling him ‘the new guy’.”
Hints that her song in the film may be linked to her wedding.
Walter still can’t believe that he’s been welcomed into the Muppet community, as it’s been a lifelong dream of his.
Walter feels he’s bonded most with Fozzie Bear out of all the characters.
Walter loves working with cast members Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell, because he says they both have a fantastic sense of humor.
On fellow cast member Tina Fey, he said: “My gosh, is there no end to that woman’s talents? Her singing and dancing in this film is really something.”
Says he is a crucial character in this film, because he discovers something wrong with the Muppets, and he enlists Fozzie and Animal to help him.
On his role in the film, he said: “I’m very happy with my role in the film. Heck, if they just let me bring water to the guys on the set, I’d be happy. Are you kidding?!”