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Merrick here...
There's a new Muppet movie on the way, from an unlikely duo. Actor Jason Segel (CSI, FREAKS & GEEKS, and FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL - which he also wrote) will script the new project alongside Nick Stoller (director of FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL). Stoller will also direct the new Muppet venture.
In "Sarah Marshall" Segel's character writes a "Dracula" musical performed by puppets. Those cloth creatures were custom-made by the Henson puppeteers, and the experience emboldened Segel to pitch his concept for a Muppets movie when he was invited in for a general meeting with exec Kristin Burr. Segel got a deal in the room and enlisted Stoller to co-write and direct the project.
...says THIS ARTICLE in Variety. There aren't many details known at this time, but my son - currently 14 months old - has JUST fallen in deeply love with Muppets. By the time this hits theaters, he'll be old enough to go see it. In fact, this may be the first film he sees in theaters. I'm 100% stoked, and can't wait. You can see the trailer for FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL HERE. The film releases April 18.

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here. I just wanted to jump in on this one and add something. This is f'ing awesome. And let me tell you why. Most of the time, I’m used to announcements of things involving the Muppets being crass money grabs these days. But that’s not the case here. I can promise you that. Last July, I was invited to Paramount Studios, where Stoller was wrapping up production on MARSHALL. I’d already visited these guys in Hawaii and at a shoot they did in the courtyard outside the Egyptian Theater, but they promised me that the shoot would be very different this time when I showed up. Sure enough, when I was admitted to Paramount and made my way across the lot to where they were shooting, I was totally unprepared for the experience. I walked into the stage just before they locked it up for a new take, so I timed it just right. Claire, the unit publicist I met in Hawaii, spotted me and hustled me around the side of a set. All I could see what the outside of the set, so when she got me to the spot where she wanted me to stand, I was startled to find myself standing next to a mummy. Actually, it wasn’t just a mummy, though. Have you ever seen those puppets where the hands and feet and shoulders are attached to the puppeteer by bars, so that when the puppeteer moves, the puppet mirrors that same move. You’ve seen those puppets where one guy makes a whole chorus line dance, right? Well, this was that same idea... but with mummies. I realized that the set that they’d built was actually the entire inside of a theater. It felt just like all the 99-seat theaters I’ve ever worked in, like a little shitbox you’d find on Hudson and Melrose here in LA or pretty much all over NYC. A tiny space to mount a play, and in this case, the play being performed was the Dracula musical written by Jason Segel’s character in the film. Bill Hader was also in the scene, also performing one of the puppets, and Jason and Bill were both onstage, clad in form-fitting black outfits that left very little to the imagination. I got there just in time to watch them run through the entire musical number that you’ll see in the film, and it was amazing how much energy it took to even bring the puppets to life for three minutes. Jason looked positively exhausted when I finally got a chance to say hello after a few takes, but he also looked happier than he had on any other day of production that I’d witnessed. “Oh, god, you have no idea how much I love the Muppets,” he told me. And the reverence he expressed when he showed me the Dracula puppet that Henson’s workshop created for him and the joy I saw on his face, take after take over the next two days... there’s no doubt in my mind that Jason is the guy to do this, and he and Nick Stoller seem to have really clicked. I know how hard Nick’s worked to get MARSHALL just right, and I’m really curious to see how he builds from here. Doing a film like this, a no-shit Muppet movie, seems to indicate to me that he’s more about a great experience than he is about “playing the career game,” and that only makes me like him more. I have no idea what sort of film they’re talking about making... maybe I’ll be able to get more more info out of them soon... but this sounds like it’s going to be worth paying attention to as the project comes into focus.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

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