Nicholas Stoller on the possibility of another Muppets film

News Simon Brew 13 May 2014 - 06:40

Muppets Most Wanted disappointed at the box office - so where does that leave plans for another Muppets movie?

Nicholas Stoller's latest film, Bad Neighbours (known as Neighbors in most of the rest of the world) has proven to be the first surprise smash hit of the summer. Starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, the movie opened to nearly $50m of business last weekend in the US alone.

Stoller directed that one, but he's also been the man who's co-written the last two Muppets films, including the recent Muppets Most Wanted. The latter hasn't enjoyed such box office success sadly, with the film taking a disappointing $70m worldwide. Hurt by competition from the likes of Rio 2 and Mr Peabody And Sherman, the film's take is a long way shy of the $165m grossed by The Muppets two years earlier.

So: what happened? Stoller, talking to IndieWire, said of Muppets Most Wanted that "I love that movie and I think it turned out great. I don't know why it didn't do better... It was upsetting that it didn't open better but it will live on forever, hopefully, on DVD and in libraries".

The obvious question is where this leaves the chances of another big screen Muppets movie. "I'm not sure", he admitted, adding that "I'd love to work on more of them". And he's no shortage of ideas for them too. "One of the ideas, which might be too sophisticated, was to do a hardcore wedding movie, Really make it about the wedding. And the other version would to be to pick up after they have a new show, like The Muppet Show, and one of the Muppets becomes way more famous than the other ones and how that ricochets throughout the group".

There are suggestions of a new Muppets TV show in the works, and we wonder now if Disney will pursue that ahead of another film. That said, if Muppets Most Wanted finally finds its broader audience on DVD and Blu-ray, then a new movie may yet move up the priority list. We'll keep you posted.


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I loved The Muppets, as do my two daughters who are both under 6. We have the soundtrack on almost permanently in the car and it's still the only film that can challenge Frozen for rewatchability in our house.

The problem with MMW is that it didn't have the same "magic" as it's predecessor, either in terms of the movie or (more importantly) the songs. We've downloaded "We're doing a sequel" and "I'm Number One" from iTunes but that's it, I can't even remember the other songs.

I took my eldest to see MMW and her opinion as we came out was "it was ok, but they went a little bonkers and made it all a bit (flappy hand gesture) 'crazy' ". I agree, I think the first film had a warmth and nostalgic love for its subject, this film was louder, slightly harsher but still a good, funny (but not brilliant) film...

As long as the merchandise keeps selling, the movies will keep coming.

Personally I think the problem with MMW was that nearly every joke just failed to hit the mark. There were plenty of amusing momemts, but not laugh out loud moments like there werebin The Muppets. The songs also failed to be just the right side of memorable, where at the sondsnin The Muppets were spot on. Finally, the Human cast weren't as well rounded or enjoyable. The lame Clouseau rip off was especially poor (although Sam was strangely brilliant) giving us an impression of Steve Martins impression of Sellers.

A lot of the jokes just didn't quite make sense. Things like 'Clouseau''s tiny car... because Europe likes small cars... but all the other cars are normal size? Or subplots like Tina Fey being obsessed with Kermit, introduced in one scene over halfway into the movie and then never mentioned again. Every aspect of it just felt half-written, like they stopped on a first draft (if that).

The Muppets are great and have had their movie misses in the past and still came back stronger. Maybe for the next movie the should bring back Jason Segel who had an enormous part in bringing The Muppets to the screen.
The hardcore wedding movie could work very well. It should be a great oppertunity too spoof a lot of those movies. Imagine a Muppet version of The Hangover. We know they can pull that off because of the trailers of The Muppets.

To follow the original movies they should go 1) get the gang together road movie (which they did) 2) European set crime caper (which they did), logically the next one will be 3) New York set musical

The moment Amy Adams popped out from under that car having just fixed it in front of her infant class, following on from the gangbusters opening musical number, you just knew the 2011 film was special. The sequel didn't have anything like as much charm or simple glee. The studio should have got down on bended knee in thanks to Segel, given him the time and recognition he deserved, and put him and Adams at the heart of the sequel.

Two words for the failure of the sequel = Ricky Gervais. Can't stand the bloke. Amy Adams should have returned!

I'm sorry to hear that Muppets Most Wanted didn't perform nearly as well as Disney hoped it would. While I'd be hard pressed to argue that it was superior to The Muppets, I still found it to be a thoroughly compelling follow-up to the stellar 2011 semi-reboot which featured a number of memorable (if less mesmerising than before) musical numbers. The album is worth a listen for those Muppets fans who are still on the fence about giving the movie itself their time.

I agree with that, though I also think it would have helped if they actually focused more on the Muppets. Way too much time devoted to Constantine and Ricky Gervais and Tina Fay.


Two words for the next sequel: Muppet Western.

Personally, I liked MMW better than 2011's The Muppets. I thought it was way funnier, and the music was nearly as good--my personal favorite being The Interrogation Song sung by Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle. Here's hoping there's a next one!

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