The Muppets get back in the pictures

on

Hi ho, Snarker the Blogger

here with an AfterEllen.com News Flash. I’m coming to you live from

the internet today with important breaking news. The Muppets are making

another movie. Yes, those muppets. Yes, another movie. Really. And now,

back to your regularly scheduled programming.

That’s right, those adorable

Muppets are coming back to the

big screen
, thanks

to some unexpected champions. Disney, which now owns the rights to the

Muppets, has greenlit a new feature film from actor-writer Jason

Segel
and his writing-directing partner Nick Stoller. In

case those names don’t ring a bell, Segel and Stoller are the duo

behind the upcoming R-rated comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Segel, whose credits include Knocked Up

and Freaks and Geeks, can be seen every week on How I Met

Your Mother.

I don’t know how I feel

about this news yet. On the one hand, hip-hip-hooray for another Muppet

movie. On the other, I’m a little wary. As with any sacred childhood

memory, it’s a little frightening to see it reinvented as an adult.

Thing can get ugly fast when people mess with the warmest, fuzziest

touchstones of your formative years. Even today, I hear “Rainbow Connection”

all these years later and I still get a little lump in my throat.







I remember watching The

Muppet Show
with my whole family. As soon as it was “time to play

the music,” it was time to sit in front of the TV. And the movies

were just as exciting. From the original to The Great Muppet Caper

and The Muppets Take Manhattan, they were zany and fun and zany

some more. I had the records (you know, those big vinyl things), and

I somehow conned my parents into getting the commemorative Great

Muppet Caper
glasses from McDonalds (where we never ate). That Miss

Piggy on a motorcycle glass was my favorite for years.

The world Jim Henson created

was filled with plush misfits and felt oddballs. He helped make being

different or funny or weird OK, possibly even cool. Kermit was my first

journalistic role model (followed closely by Walter Cronkite). And Miss

Piggy was a role model for how to be a strong, albeit porcine, woman. She certainly

didn’t take any guff — hi-yah! Henson also had a hand, quite literally,

in my most favorite shows and movies as a kid, from Sesame Street

to Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal.

I cried the day he died, it felt so like we’d all lost a friend.

Segel, whose first script was

the upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, pitched the idea for

the film after taking a tour of Henson’s studio and realizing there

were no Muppets lying around. When he learned that Disney had the rights

to them, he called them up and said he’d like to write the new one.

While the plot is under wraps, Segel said he wants to make the new movie like the

originals
:

    “The old Muppet movies

    were written as though they were proper movies. They weren’t novelty

    acts because there were puppets in it. It was like Kermit trying to

    put on a big Broadway musical in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Or The

    Great Muppet Caper
    ? Come on! Charles Grodin is so good in it. I want

    to bring it back to that. Like those early ’80s movies with a proper

    plot, and it’s the Muppets putting on a show. It’s not a hard formula.”

A hard formula? No. A beloved

formula? Yes. So, let’s hope it turns into the most sensational, inspirational,

celebrational, Muppetational Muppet movie of them all. Oh, and since

there’s no such thing as too much nostalgia, this one is for scribegrrrl.