Sean Jones – When it was announced that Christoph Waltz was going to potentially play a lead, an Interpol agent, in the next Muppet feature film, I was pretty excited. He is one of the best actors around right now, and the thought of him joining our favorite friends for what looked to be a caper was thrilling. Then he dropped, due to scheduling conflicts, which was a blow, but there was no need to worry. Ty Burrell would step up to the plate as the agent. Now, we were just on the lookout for a “Russian femme fatale and a man whose intentions are always in question.”
We got the latter first, in the form of Ricky Gervais. I know that this is a divisive casting decision, but I am optimistic. Gervais is completely charming in 2008’s Ghost Town. Now we were just looking for a leading lady! Through all of this casting, I kept pulling for one particular actress for the job. Tina Fey. I know, I know. Not exactly your stereotypical “femme fatale,” but that is why I thought she would be perfect for the part. Not only is she is hilarious, which is a pretty important factor, but she is also the smart human’s sex symbol. Also, she made a pretty phenomenal Bookaneer with Elmo. However, I was still met with a little resistance whenever I would mention this casting idea to another Muppet fan.
But, to be fair, I am a little biased. I am a giant Tina Fey fan. When her book, Bossypants, hit bookstore shelves, I took a road trip from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, where I got on a bus to New York City. I attended her book signing, got back on the bus to Pittsburgh, and drove back to Ohio, all in less than 48 hours. I figured an opportunity like that wouldn’t come along again, so I wasn’t going to miss it. However, if another opportunity like that does happen to come along again, I’m still going to take it. My appreciation for Tina is on the same level as my appreciation for the Muppets.
Now, almost all of my dreams are coming true. Recent reports say that Tina Fey is in late-stage negotiations to be in the followup to The Muppets. I only say “almost all of my dreams,” because I am an actor, and my dreams include working with both Tina Fey and the Muppets. Someday.
All fandom aside, I think Fey was a pretty obvious choice to collaborate with the Muppets for their next film. Her work on Sesame Street and her inclusion of some Muppet-style and Muppet referencing gags on 30 Rock prove that she has what it takes. With the team of Fey, Gervais, Burrell, Kermit and the gang in front of the camera, and Nick Stoller and James Bobin behind it, we are in for some cinematic gold. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to camp out for tickets now.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org