Disney has consulted with the talented folks at Pixar on several of their recent projects, including The Princess & The Frog, Tangled, and Tron Legacy. Now it looks like The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time will be the latest film to benefit from Pixar's expertise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmakers behind the latest Muppet outing flew to Pixar's headquarters in Emeryville, California on Wednesday for a read-through and critique of the script. Disney, who've had a less than stellar summer with duds like Prince of Persia and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, are hoping to identify and fix any potential problems with The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time before it goes into production.
It seems obvious, but considering the number of films that move forward before their scripts are even finished, it's refreshing to hear that Disney is serious about putting story first. Disney Studios chief Rich Ross and head of production Sean Bailey seem eager to encourage more collaboration between departments rather than isolate them the way their predecessors did. Considering Pixar's spotless track record and what a valuable asset they've been to Disney, it's nice to see pride being set aside in the interest of creating a better film.
Pixar is known for its rigorous and collaborative development process and the result has been eleven critically and commercially successful films (with this summer's Toy Story 3 being the most recent example). So it's safe to say that the Muppets are in good hands.
Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother) co-wrote The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time with Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek) and the film features Segel traveling the world in an attempt to reunite The Muppets so that they can save the old Muppet Theater from being destroyed. James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords) will direct.
I'll admit it - I still love the Muppets, the old show and most of their movies. I never caught the more recent made-for-television efforts like Muppet Wizard of Oz but from what I've heard, that's probably a good thing. Before Disney acquired the rights to the Muppets the puppet characters had clearly become a property that no one knew what to do with anymore. Disney's faith in the characters, matched with the filmmakers' adoration of the old show, already established a solid foundation for the new film - Pixar's involvement is just icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned.
At their best, the Muppets were effortlessly entertaining to children and adults and that's a trait Pixar's films inarguably share. My excitement for The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time continues to grow and each decision they've made seems to suggest that the film is on the right track.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter.