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Steve Whitmire has left the Muppets, Matt Vogel to continue as Kermit

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by GonzoMan, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    What was Frank's idea? I don't think I heard of it.
  2. ErinAardvark

    ErinAardvark Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. I also don't think they'd consider Steve's performance the cause of poor box office sales, or poor ratings. And even still, that is not a good reason for firing someone. I think it has to do with creative differences. Besides which, if they thought he was the cause of the poor box office sales, don't you think they would have canned him after the movies came out?
    Duke Remington likes this.
  3. scooterfan360

    scooterfan360 Well-Known Member

    the whole Disney firing Steve whitmire saddens me , it really hurts me that Disney would do something like this to Mr whitmire, i wish the best of luck to Mr whitmire in whatever he does next.
    muppetgem likes this.

    DARTH MUPPET Active Member

    now please someone step in and correct me if I am wrong I am probably getting this wrong, sorry in advance,
    It was called,
    The Worst Muppet Movie Ever made?
    The premise is Gonzo hatches up this idea to direct a Muppet movie but make it schlocky and really just plain bad. I forget why he does this but when I read it I got a Producers feel to the whole thing and the Producers is one of my favorite movies especially the Will Farrell one! I am sure someone will explain the movie better then me again sorry I couldn't be of more help.
  5. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I respect people's opinions on various blogs and social media saying they are upset with the anger at Disney, but now that Steve Whitmire's blog is proven to be legit where he makes it clear he was unrightfully terminated(and one can imply, had to sit quiet on this upsetting news for close to a year)...in what way are fans expected to tow the pro Disney corporate line now?

    Lets say AMC decided for no announced reason fired Andrew Lincoln, the main character of Walking Dead(Rick Grimes) Like many other modern tv shows(Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones) etc the obsessive fanbase behind these series is a billion times more powerful, loud, mainstream and cohesive (I hate to say) than Henson/Muppet fandom. Well I'll tell ya what would happen: AMC would have an angry letter writing campaign and unholy social media backlash like they couldnt imagine

    Unfortunately, for the most part, Muppet fandom still remains on the fringes of the internet and rather obscure despite 60+ years of a worldwide beloved franchise. Now that I will say isnt Disney's fault, it just is what it is(The 2011 Muppet movie is partly about the lack of cohesive love or care for the Muppets from the world at large) Yet, if its clear Steve should not have been fired than fans deserve to let their voices heard and not told to shut up and tow the line. That also does not mean Matt shouldnt get our full support either.
  6. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Let's hope that the head honchos of The Muppets Studio (Debbie McClellan and Kyle Laughlin) will reveal their reasons for firing Steve soon.
  7. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Unless Steve probably became too demanding and made it harder for The Muppets Studio to crank out more product. :sympathy:
  8. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    It's really difficult to know what to say about all this ...

    Disney have every right to recast if they want to, i get that. Matt is a superb choice, I am a HUGE fan of his work and I think he showed with Constantine for MMW and then Uncle Deadly for the TV show that he has been completely kicking butt and has so much energy and love for what he does.

    It was amazing for the two fansites getting the scoop and they do amazing work and have a lot of love for the Muppets. On the other hand I feel it would have been more respectful given this is the first change of lead performer for 27 years if Disney would have put out a proper announcement to the mainstream press or at least given Steve the opportunity to announce first without getting into too much blame pointing, that he would no longer be working with the Muppets. Sometimes in these situations the talent concerned is given the opportunity to resign so in the eyes of the public they weren't fired, but I can understand why Steve wouldn't have wanted to be seen as quitting the Muppets and it doesn't sound like they have even been communicating.

    The timing of releasing the information is very suspect and I can imagine has been carefully calculated. He hasn't been performing Kermit for a while and then a few days before a new video is released they get the info out. Either that is because they want to get the bulk of bad reaction out of the way first, or they want all eyes on the new Kermit video. They would have definitely known the news would go viral.

    I don't know what the reasons are. Although Steve makes a point in his blog of talking about knowing the brand and characters and how special they are which points you there and that he maybe didn't approve of things they might want to do. I did fear the other reason was maybe money as although they are (from what i gathered) freelance performers I would guess they are retained and also that they were on good deals with Henson when they were used and i'd imagine Disney would have had to keep up those rates with Kermit's performer being on top scale. Given the projects with Disney haven't done quite as well as hoped I did wonder if the Muppets are maybe being given less budget and they might want to use Kermit more without being able to afford Steve. Could there be any concerns over his actual performances or style of performance in Disney's opinion? Who knows, but there is nobody who knows these characters better in terms of what Jim Henson's Muppets would say or do, other than Jim, Frank and Dave. But then again, do Disney want Jim's Muppets or to change them.

    Of course there has already been some change, especially in the TV show where they were a little more updated for today's audiences, but then retro/nostalgia TV revivals have become even bigger now and it seems the public prefer them as they were so maybe a classic return to TMS may have done better. I guess it's the big question for Disney, where do they go with them, two only relatively successful movies, TV show that lasted just a season - I can imagine it's going to be hard for them to get the finances approved for many more big projects unless they pull in bigger ratings or money. Merchandising seems near non-existent, the profile isn't high in the parks, at least they are doing more digital content and with any luck that will do well given so much of how TV content is watched is changing at a supersonic speed.

    Excited to see the new videos, and anything new they can bring us, with a slight fear if there is some kind of disagreement between the older Muppeteers and Disney over how the characters are being used doesn't lead to people like Dave and Bill following Steve. It's hard to swallow, especially as with Dave and Steve these were Jim's choices for the characters, but as a wise frog said to me elsewhere, creative differences like this happen all the time in media, and this is true, we are lucky up until this point there hadn't been much more turmoil in the Henson-Disney transition. The mouse (it seems) definitely made an effort to respect such a classic and beloved brand.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  9. mbmfrog

    mbmfrog Active Member

    Artie's Kermit ? What do you mean by that ?
  10. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

    Basically when Artie (Espo I think that is his surname) performed Kermit on AGT that was the response
  11. mbmfrog

    mbmfrog Active Member

    Now I Didn't like the Muppets 2011, but that was mostly due to the HUMAN Casting of the film and the need of not truly rehashing a familiar plotline. I like the film if it was more like the Muppets take Manhattan and use unknown actors and Actresses and work with them and the Muppets.

    Frank Oz had the right idea on that movie and how to manage the Celebrity cameos better.

    Oz had better experiences with the Muppets and had Disney brought him on to be a consultant, then maybe the recent Muppet ideas wouldn't be so mixed in reviews.
    DARTH MUPPET likes this.
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Oh, that! I knew Jim and Jerry Juhl had the idea before Jim's death, but I don't recall Frank saying he wanted to do that movie instead, but rather, Disney played with the idea of doing that movie before they ended up with Jason Segel's script.
  13. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    DARTH MUPPET likes this.
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

  15. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    What was Artie's Kermit's nick name? Kismet wasn't it?
  16. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I kinda side with Drtooth on the idea of "Cheapest"; there's no way they could sustain that joke for 90 minutes. An hour-long TV special / movie, maybe. Jim and gang might have been able to pull it off, who knows, but the basic premise can only go so far.
    Muppet Master and Duke Remington like this.
  17. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I think it would work better as a short film, honestly. The way it's described gives off a "needs to be seen in theaters" vibe. Sort of like Muppet*Vision 3D.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've often wondered about that as well. I keep thinking about the whole movie taking place in a movie studio with the characters working on the film, but there's probably a lot more to it than that. Maybe there's a villain, or maybe it's like MTM where there is no main antagonist. Of course Frank Oz has expressed a desire to do it, so maybe the screenplay is a lot stronger than we'd expect. Of course I also thought similar things about the 2011 film when plot details were announced and clearly that had a lot more to it than what was in my head.

    I'm reminded of an interview Jim did when The Dark Crystal came out, where he talked about the possibility of having movies released straight to cable or home video, and now I wonder if he'd intended on this being released like that (though otherwise I have no doubt it was intended as a theatrical feature). Jerry Juhl said that one of the main things that kept it from being made was that it would have been really expensive - with direct-to-video/television films having smaller budgets than theatrical features, it might have been a bit too costly even for that kind of a release. I wonder if this would make for a good straight-to-Netflix release (and Disney does have an exclusive deal with Netflix...).
    Duke Remington likes this.
  19. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I honestly think The Muppets would do really well if they did TV specials for a while. Maybe they could have a bunch of holiday specials like the Peanuts.
  20. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    So, Steve just posted again, clarifying a little on his first one and he seems to be subtly indicating that his dismissal was mostly due to creative differences.

    'It is no longer the Muppets if core values are lost or discarded. While I fought very hard for the integrity of the Muppets over the last twelve years largely to my own detriment, maybe I should have fought even harder and louder…and, yes, I would have likely been gone sooner… I fear I was the last samurai.'

    That statement speaks volumes, which if anything, makes the situation even more annoying. Disney didn't like what he had to say after all. Which goes back to the reason why I can't trust the Muppets Studio to do the right thing.
    Muppet Master and Mo Frackle like this.

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