Today, Jason Segel's The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made project may be one step closer to becoming a reality. Vulture is reporting that Disney will offer James Bobin, co-creator of Flight of the Conchords, the director's chair for the upcoming Muppet film.
Though neither the studio or Bobin's reps would comment, a Disney insider source reports "the movie is James' to direct — if he wants it."
Bobin is also being considered for an upcoming Kristen Wiig comedy, Bridesmaids (produced Judd-Apatow), which is about a pair of women competing to plan a friend’s wedding party. Surely Apatow's involvement would make for a tempting offer, but a wedding comedy, even one penned by Kristen Wiig, doesn't seem like the type of offer that would trump the chance to direct the first good Muppet film since Jim Henson's death.
Flight of the Conchords may not have been the most family-friendly programming on cable but there's no denying that the quirky comedy actually shares a lot of similarities with the Muppet franchise: especially each show's penchant for fuzzy protagonists. In all seriousness, the combination of odd-ball comedy and impromptu musical routines in Conchords might be exactly the thing to return the Muppet franchise to its former glory - i.e., more over-the-top musical numbers and less space-related origin stories; more Muppet characters and less Ashanti.
Bobin's directorial style, coupled with Segel's script (and passion for the material), seems to be hinting at a film that will be worth a return trip to the Muppet Theater... or at least your local movie complex.
If Vulture's sources are to be believed we can expect to see production on The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made firing up toward the end of the summer.