In the last few years, the members of Camp Apatow have proven there’s still an audience for R-rated comedies. Now, one of them is preparing to work some of that box-office magic on the younger set.
Variety reports that Jason Segel — veteran of Apatow productions such as Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Knocked Up, and the Segel-scripted Forgetting Sarah Marshall — has signed on to write the script for Disney’s next Muppet movie, with Nick Stoller on board to direct. Sound like a strange combination? The story behind it doesn’t disappoint. From the article:
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.
The Muppets’ screen fortunes could use a boost — though 1979’s The Muppet Movie, 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper, and 1984’s The Muppets Take Manhattan were all solid box-office performers, subsequent films haven’t fared as well. Given that The Muppet Show had a fairly adult sensibility — and the original movies were as appealing to parents as they were to kids — Segel’s involvement is intriguing, to say the least.