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Last week, the news broke that Jason Segel was not one of the writers hired to develop a sequel to "The Muppets."
True, it was his frequent collaborator Nicholas Stoller who was hired, but just the notion that Segel might not be a driving force on a sequel seemed to upset some people. I thought it was probably not as big a deal as it was made out to be, and I said so, but I thought it would make sense to talk directly to Segel about it.
So on Saturday, one of the two press days I was at was for "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," the marvelous new comedy from Jay and Mark Duplass, and one of the interviews I had scheduled was Jason Segel. Why not kick things off by asking him to directly address the situation?
And, look, I understand why some people would be sad to lose him from the equation. There was a very disappointed Muppets fan standing in the room with us (Toshi came with me for the day) who told me later that Gary has to be in a Muppets movie because Gary LOVES the Muppets. There's no doubt he does, but the story in the first film was designed to get Walter to the Muppets. Gary and Mary went back to their small town to get married, and logically, there's no reason for Gary to have to have a major role in the next film. Walter, though, should be, and I hope they start the next movie with the Muppet Show back on the air and Walter part of the group. That seems like the most important thread to follow in a sequel.
Whatever the case, I'm just glad to see that Disney's committed to the characters.
"The Muppets" arrives on DVD and Blu-ray March 20th.