In news that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Muppet superfan Jason Segel has signed on as the human lead in Disney’s Muppets movie, according to THR’s Heat Vision blog.
Segel’s casting was widely expected considering he wrote the screenplay with his "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller. The studio is keeping the Muppet movie plot under wraps, but it is believed that Segel will play a man tasked with finding and reuniting the Muppets. The "How I Met Your Mother" star will also produce the film alongside Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.
James Bobin (HBO’s "Flight of the Conchords") is attached to direct, and personally, I think he’s an inspired choice for the material, having always admired the wacky energy of that series.
Segel’s comic sensibility and everyman appeal should provide the perfect live-action foil for The Muppets. From "SLC Punk" to "Freaks and Geeks," the actor has always exhibited exceptional taste. He recently joined the cast of the comedy "Bad Teacher," written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky ("The Office," "Ghostbusters 3"), as well as "Jeff Who Lives at Home," the Duplass brothers’ follow-up to their Sundance/SXSW hit "Cyrus." Segel next appears in the animated film "Despicable Me," which looks like a lot of fun judging from its mysterious trailers.
As my colleague Brent Lang wrote about in January, The Muppets are enjoying a mini-resurgence of late. The group’s cover of Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" has surpassed 13,000,000 views on YouTube, and Christopher Weekes’ script "The Muppet Man" topped this year’s Black List of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood.