After “The Muppets” stuck fairly faithfully to the tone and style of the original Muppet big screen outing, 1979’s “The Muppet Movie,” it appears that its sequel will follow the “The Great Muppet Caper” in very much the same way. As the title suggests, the movie was indeed a great caper. Set in London, the film followed Kermit and Fozzie (playing twin brothers no less!) as a pair of reporters sent to interview the rich victim of a jewel thief. The new film is set to go in front of cameras in London later this winter, although we suspect the story could potentially stray into different parts of Europe, and we know that two of the key human characters will be a Russian femme fatale and an Interpol agent. We had expected Christoph Waltz to play the latter, but there’s now another actor being lined up for the role.
That actor is Ty Burrell, known best for his work on the small screen’s “Modern Family.” On face value it certainly seems like a step down from the Oscar-winning Waltz who had to drop out because of his schedule, but fans of “Modern Family” can attest to the fact that Burrell is frequently the comedic MVP on the show (and despite the backlash to all the Emmys that are thrown at it, the cast really are all pretty damn good) and he’s an extremely likeable screen presence. It should be noted that although the sequel will again be full of cameos, this isn’t a cameo role and could even be the lead human role in the movie.
Should Burrell’s part turn out to be as substantial as we suspect it would certainly be his biggest movie role to date. He recently finished up voicing the lead role of Mr Peabody in DreamWorks Animation’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and also has a couple of indie flicks lined up to shoot next year, but in terms of boosting his profile on the big screen they don’t really come close to acting alongside Kermit. Although Jason Segel isn’t returning for the sequel, director James Bobin is back on Muppet duty and co-wrote the screenplay with Segel’s regular collaborator Nicholas Stoller. And Bert McKenzie will be writing the songs once again. Filming begins in January. [THR]