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Frank Oz worked on a new Muppet movie script

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by cahuenga, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. cahuenga

    cahuenga Active Member

    I didnt know about it until a read this article: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/11/frank-oz-the-muppets/

    Frank was working on a scrip for a ner muppet movie when Disney came up with the segel and stoller movie, I hope that if this movie is a succes, (and I think it will be), the next muppet movie should be this one directed and scripted by Frank, no one else knows the characters like him and it would be a very hoped and dreamed return to the Muppets he belongs, and we, the muppet fans will be very very pleased!!!! what do you think guys????
  2. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Wait, this guy's kids love the classic Muppet shows but he's still positive the Muppets need to be changed and modernized? It's like people are conditioned to believe this "modern is better" nonsense even when presented with proof to the contrary!

    I still want to see the film, but NOT because this guy convinced me. Not by a long shot, heh.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It's been revealed that he indeed got an earlier version of the script before all the massive changes. The "offending" stuff was Kermit being a millionaire (gone), Walter being a ventriloquist dummy (gone), and some other odds and ends like that. The script went through multiple changes under Disney shaping it up to be more consistent to the franchise. I don't think Frank even saw the later version of the script.

    Still, I don't see anything wrong with modernizing if the Muppets were always about being current. They covered Disco when disco was big, not years later to be ironic. But they also had George Burns on the show. It's a fine balance between modern and classic, and it can be done the wrong way if someone's not careful. I have confidence they found that line with this one, or at least got very very close.
    Nick22 and Duke Remington like this.
  4. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    They were about producing quality. The quest for moderization doesn't always include that. ;)
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You lose that quality when you're trying too hard to be current. Some of the worst Muppets Tonight bits were recurring TV parody sketches, rather than the short single skits. They had nothing satirical or deep about them. Then you look at Seinfeld Babies, and they manage to capture the show's essence. And it works because they only had to do it once. Same with Codependents day. But Bay of Pigs Watch lost its joke after the first time, as did Deep Dish 9. That's why Boar's Head revisited and Tales from the Vet worked so well... they weren't parodying anything specific. That's why we remember Pigs in Space, Vet's Hospital and the Swedish Chef so well... there are the few references to cliches and maybe one pop culture-ish reference... but becasue the skits are broader parodies of genres that are uniquely their own, so they can make any joke they want to.

    Then of course is the Muppet movie I always speak negatively of... there was NOOOOO call for Kelly Osborne to be there. Even MFS's annoying reference to the Spice Girls makes me cringe a little. That kind of random mention trying to be oh so hip is unwelcome. But Muppets covering popular songs by artists that actually like them to, that's quality AND what the Muppets have always been about while being classic and modern.
  6. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the article. Yeah I agree. I believe that the two people who know The Muppets best now a days is Frank Oz and Brian Henson. Frank knows how the characters work, heck he was one of the creative consultants on The Muppet Show plus part of the writing staff as well. He knows what he's talking about. I totally trust his insight. (Kind of off subject but I just got an autographed picture of him on my wall, I'm so thankful :) ) Personally and this is just my opinion, I feel that Frank was much funnier with his characters than Eric Jacobson. Don't get my wrong. Eric can do the voices very well. It's just that the irreverent humor and dysfunctional personalities aren't all there. Again, my opinion.

    Plus also Brain Henson, each time he was involved with The Muppets. Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, and Muppets Tonight. They were ALWAYS EXCELLENT! I have No Complaints. NONE! But after Muppets Tonight, I feel things slowly went downhill. It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie in my opinion was the last great thing with The Muppets. That and From The Balcony on Movies.com. Everything else I feel just wasn't as good.

    If Frank can write and direct the next movie, that'll be a dream come true.
    Even if Brain Henson came back to direct, that would be great too.

    Even though I'm excited about the new Muppet Movie coming out tomorrow. I am a little worried about it, especially that it wasn't written by a great Muppet writer like Jim Lewis or Jerry Juhl. Mostly the fact that there's toilet humor in the movie like the fart shoes thing and Gonzo collecting toilets. I mean it's way too low-brow for The Muppets. They're classic slapstick comedy. It's like Groucho Marx doing a Gansta rap, it doesn't work!

    By the way didn't Frank Oz also mention that Muppets From Space wasn't that good and he was disapointed with that as well. I think Jerry Juhl even said that it didn't come out as it had planned and the storyline was slightly different and Gonzo found out that he really wasn't from Outer Space. Personally I didn't care for Muppets From Space, espcially the toilet humor like Fozzie picking his nose or Miss Piggy running upstairs randomly shouting out that she has to urinate. Horrable, except for Animal dunking his head in the toilet that was funny because Animal is premitive and it totally works for his character.

    I love that the movie is rated PG, but if it's because of toilet humor, I'm going to be so bummed out. Noticing that it says "For mild rude humor".

    Oh well, got to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    But yeah, WE NEED FRANK BACK ASAP. Same with Brain too.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Where to start...

    As I said, the earlier version of the script was most likely what Frank saw, and since then the script went through some changes (which were welcomed by the writers of the film) under the guidance of the staff at Muppet Studios. I said it before and I'll say it again. If anyone thinks that they'd green light the movie without script approval from Muppet Studios, they aren't paying attention. Even the Muppet Show comics went by Jim Lewis. I don't know if it directly was Jim, but suggestions were made, and the writers stuck to the guidelines. They were actually happy to make them, even changing the original ending.

    The story of MFS you must've heard only from second and third hand stories... the truth is, Joey Mazzarino was the one that wrote most of the script (the script was written by several Muppet writers, each doing a pass at it), and saw most of the script taken out. The original ending was his idea. These changes were done entirely by the director...This is a portion of an interview with Joey on Toughpigs

    That's it in a nutshell... key difference between the new movie and MFS is that the changes were suggested by the Muppet staff and welcome by the writers. Where as MFS's changes were all done by a hack director that just used MFS as a stepping stone for a career of mediocre kiddy flix.


    As for the PG rating... PG is a scam rating anyway. It's basically what studios put as a rating for general family movies. G is supposedly a horrid turn off now (except Pixar manages to get away with it). Only movie I saw that actually deserved a PG rating recently was Rango.

    That said the fart shoe and toilets (which in context of the film, Gonzo's a big plumbing magnate, calling back to the first movie... so it makes sense) aren't what the entire film's about. No one falls into toilets no one really farts... don't expect Shrek like levels of once slightly funny, now gratuitous poopoo jokes. That's about as low brow as the movie gets, and they basically make fun of the fact it's lowbrow.
    Nick22 and Frogpuppeteer like this.
  8. cahuenga

    cahuenga Active Member

    I´m with you in almost everything! although I love Muppets Tonight, I think there were too many characters in it and the central ones from The Muppet Show were forgotten. I think this helped the muppet fans to feel the characters they known and loved were getting appart and, personally, I felt like they were searching for a new group of Muppets to start from a new beginning, and characters like Piggy, Fozzie, Scooter, electric Mayhem etc, were like the old ones to forget.... but like I said, I still love that show. Im wondering what would happened if Muppets Tonight characters were the Muppet show ones, integrating some of the new ones, slowly, not suddenly like they did, without balancing... and if Frank Oz (or Eric), David Rudman (in Richard´s characters) and many of the Jerry´s ones were in it. Its something I always wondered, why they let Jerrys characters pass on with him on the show as performer, and many of Dave too. I think Muppets Tonight, presented like the New Muppet show killed the hopes of many Muppet fans and viewers, and they felt the muppets werent the same anymore, so they quit watching the show. I think the new movie and a revival of the original series would repair the wrong things done in the past. All with the Help on Frank and Brian as directors, consultants, performers or something like that.What do you think???
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  9. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    I think you've missed the point of what everyone is talking about on this thread... and the point of the article itself.

    Plus I hate how every article that says "FRANK OZ DISAPPROVES OF THIS MOVIE" uses the exact same single quote over and over again. It's gotten old.
    Drtooth likes this.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    This is the only report I've heard where Frank was working on a Muppet movie script. Considering this report was basically rehashing a story that was already rehashed, I can't say I'd be too sure that it's true. In fact, I completely doubt that he was. Unless they got lines crossed with the announced "Cheapest Muppet Movie" which was a script Frank was working on in the 80's.

    Frank, while not abandoning the Muppets entirely, has moved on and he's doing other things. The only reason why Disney went with Jason's script was a mix of Disney calling him to work on one of their properties, and Jason being kind of annoyed that nothing was being done with the Muppets when he commissioned Henson to do the Dracula puppets for the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshal.

    I'm sure if Frank actually WAS working on a script, they'd step aside and push for Frank's, but that wasn't the case. I'd LOVE to see Frank get a script in if this movie proves successful, don't get me wrong...but I doubt there really was one, and even if one existed if it was completed enough to produce.
  11. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    Sorry, if I missed the idea, what did I miss?
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's something that's been taken out of context. Somehow I feel that, while he has qualms of how the movie was written back when he got the script (and again, I assure that it is an early draft), but was also annoyed by the fact that one single thing has to define him and his career. We also have to remember he also added, "I don't want to be a sourpuss and ruin the movie," meaning that he wishes it well, and hopes it finds an audience.

    The movie is getting very positive reviews... even the "negative" ones seem to be pretty positive. I think I heard that the Henson kids give it a seal of approval. The fans who saw it seem to really like it... one tiny complaint taken out of context based on an early pass of a script didn't put a damper on anything. in fact, I still think the thing we need to take into consideration is that they actually brought the script to Frank and asked him if he wanted to be in the film.
  13. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    That's been my frame of mine on the whole thing. I read a long time ago that what Frank was talking about was an early draft, before it had met with edits and revisions. The part about not wanting to be a sourpuss has always caught my eye. He obviously didn't want his comments to effect the outcome of his movie, and the fact that that's the only quote floating around in articles probably means he hasn't been going around saying anything else. And Frank's made it very clear over the years that he didn't want to be tied down to just Muppets; that's why he branched out to direct. He grew up in a household where his parents were puppeteers, correct? Odds are he just wanted something different, and no one can blame him for that.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I have nothing but the highest respect for Frank Oz, and I completely respect his career choices... even movies that were... well... less than stellar. Why did no one ask him about the remake of his movie Death at a Funeral? That would have been a more interesting question with an interesting answer. He's a director now, I respect him for it, I think Eric is doing a wonderful job with his characters... but anytime he appears back on Sesame Street, it's a master coming back to pay homage to his roots. I cannot wait for his return as Grover in the Spider-Monster Turn of the Dark parody.
  15. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Okay let me get this straight so I got it right. So before any kind of Muppet Production is made, scripts and stuff are approved my The Muppet Studios team before they go to the next stage of production, right? That's good. I didn't know they had that. That sort of makes me feel better thinking of Disney because before I'm always nervous about how they are handling The Muppets. But from what I've read so far, it seems like things are slowly coming back to The Muppets old classic selves again.
  16. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Active Member

    Scripts in movies and tv shows go through several rewrites before the final shooting script in approved and used. Even the shooting script might go through some very light polishing touches and add some things or take out some things that help the movie/tv show in some capacity. Jason's early script was a rough sketch on what he wanted to do until it started getting rewrites and treatments from various people who know the muppets (as pointed out on this thread).

    For example, in "Ghostbusters" (we all know that movie right?!!), Dan Ackroyd wanted the Ghostbusters to go to various planets/dimensions and fight ghosts and what not. It wasn't until Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis got Dan's script and started to chip away at the pieces and added some things and take away some things that didn't work. And of course what we saw in the movie was what was written in the final script.

    What Frank Oz saw was a very rough first script and I'm sure it sucked, as most tv/movie scripts in their beginning stages usually aren't very good until people start chipping away and adding some things to make the script better.
  17. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I just came back from the movie. It was Awesome, no complaints from my end. :)
    TikiColadas likes this.
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the Muppet team helped them shape the script, and the changes were all welcomed. And I honestly think the changes from the original fit the movie much better. There's a valid specific reason why Kermit has that house and it is revealed in the movie. But everything that's sent to them, even the comic books, had to pass through Jim Lewis and the rest of the Muppet Studios staff... that's why Skeeter's appearance in the Family Reunion arc was supposed to be ambiguous if it was really happening or not.

    Wanna hear the worst thing? I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but the original premise of the Ghostbusters movie wound up being the premise for the Filmation Ghostbusters cartoon, where they DID go to different time periods and outer space.
  19. Alvin

    Alvin Active Member

    I'm all about originals and founders coming back the roots. Look at all the 80's music that is still alive and coming back around today. I think Frank Oz should be given a chance to do the next one. EVEN voice his original characters. That would be great...I can only imagine the next move on the Muppets part....I am wondering if they will consider TV again....anything is possible...we've come this far!
  20. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah diffidently. I would love to see The Muppets return to TV. I still remember when I was about 10 or a bit older when Muppets Tonight came out, that was awesome. I taped as many episodes as I could. Of course this is before I found out that there was about 10 minutes of footage that didn't make it on the US airings. LOL

    I would love Frank to not only perform his characters again but to write and direct another movie. He's the only original Muppet Show writer around. Jerry Juhl is gone and Chris Langom.......well I really can't discuss what happened to him on this forum, just do the research. So yeah. Or better yet, Jim Lewis and Frank Oz. That would be SWEET!!!!

    Speaking of "The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever", that was written by Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl and Frank Oz, right? That'll be great if they make that. It would be like a work of Jim Henson's that was never made until.....whenever they make it. I breifly read the plot, it sounds really funny. Gonzo directs the movie and it gets cheaper and cheaper by the end of the film. That's Muppet Comedy for ya. LOL


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