For years, Frank Oz has been the voice (and hands) of Miss Piggy, but when he got the script for the new 'Muppets' film, he turned it down. "I wasn't happy with the script. I don't think they respected the characters," he tells the British site Metro. "But I don't want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie." Oz might remain somewhat diplomatic, but he's not the only one concerned with the 'Muppets' script by star Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller ('Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' 'Get Him to the Greek'): other longtime Muppeteers are also displeased that the beloved characters' repertoire now includes fart jokes, and the fact that Kermit seems to have become a 1-percenter.
Per THR, "Muppet insiders" worry that Segel and director James Bobin (a writer on 'Da Ali G Show' and 'Flight of the Conchords') have sacrificed the characters' integrity for easy laughs. "They're looking at the script on a joke-by-joke basis, rather than as a construction of character and story," one insider said to the trade magazine.
Take Fozzie's fart-shoes joke featured in the trailer: "We wouldn't do that; it's too cheap," another Muppets veteran says. "It may not seem like much in this world of [Judd] Apatow humor, but the characters don't go to that place."
They're also worried that Kermit is now a fat cat who lives in a mansion and that the other Muppets now resent his wealth, leading to the "band" breaking up.
Not everyone involved with the beloved felt creations feels similarly.
"I'm very hopeful the characters are as warm and loving to each other as they were when Jim was directing," says Bonnie Erickson, the executive director of the Jim Henson Legacy, who designed and built the original Miss Piggy. She says she's "very excited" that Disney has brought the Muppets back to the big screen, but admits that she's nervous. "I'm hoping the standard of excellence that Jim set is maintained," she says.
'The Muppets' opens Nov. 23.
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