Via its official blog, Disney Parks and Resorts today unveiled the first few of a new series of portraits by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz portraying celebrities in iconic classic Disney roles.
Back in early February, we shared with you an image from a presentation by Disney Parks and Resorts chair Tom Staggs aboard the Disney Dream which appeared to display the title treatment for The Muppets (November 23, 2011). The report spread like wildfire with what quickly became known as the ‘Headless Kermit’ logo and today, via Disney’s presentation at CinemaCon (nee ShoWest), we now not only know the title treatment to be the case as first reported here, but we now have a clean and detailed version of it (but still no head to be found).
Up there on the large screen may very well be our first look at the current title treatment for Disney’s The Muppets which is slated for its theatrical release on November 23, 2011. That tiny little speck of a man in front of that ginormous image is non other than Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, Tom Staggs. Staggs was on board the maiden voyage of the Disney Dream and offered a special presentation to select groups of voyagers to bring them up to date on The Walt Disney Company’s current projects. While the bulk of the presentation did fall into Stagg’s domain, a smaller portion was dedicated to upcoming films from the Studios, which included The Muppets (if you hadn’t guessed by now).
At first glance, this new publicity still from The Muppets as provided to us by Walt Disney Studios may seem to have some familiar elements. As well it should. While it appears to be from the same shoot that the first released image was from, here we have a close-up of co-writer/star Jason Segel, flanked by frog and pig with ear-to-ear smiles (two out of three ain’t bad).
The Muppets, the greatest and/or cheapest Muppet movie ever made, is scheduled to be release in theaters nationwide on November 23, 2011.
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On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, and his friends Gary (Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds. To stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino house band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate.
Walt Disney Studios has provided us with the official synopsis for its upcoming Thanksgiving 2011 release, The Muppets, starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and — of course — the Muppets, featuring newcomer Walter.
Although a much earlier draft of The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller had been reviewed elsewhere before, when I was offered the opportunity to take a look at a much more recent draft (dated 10/30/09, aka post-D23), I jumped.
It was at the D23 Expo in early September where then-Walt Disney Studios President Dick Cook offered up a strong Muppets song & dance number before announcing the title of the film, The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made, a nod towards an old a project Muppets writer Jerry Juhl was reported to have been working on for years, even alongside Jim Henson.
Enter the recent draft which still bears the original working title. Whether the D23 announced title sticks or whether the existing script will be scrapped and be completely re-written remains to be seen, but what is evident is that neither title seems appropriate for the film.
It is clear that Judd Apatow-protege Jason Segel is a fan of the Muppets as well as his writing parter Nicholas Stoller (who used to write for Segel on Apatow’s Undeclared before co-writing Forgetting Sarah Marshall with him), but unfortunately, that’s about all that’s clear in this film paved with good intentions.