Ricky Gervais can work the crowd at the Golden Globes with a cunning mix of off-color humor and fear. But can he get the Muppets to sign on the dotted line?
The former funnyman of "The Office" (the BBC one, mind you) looks right at home sitting at a table with some of Jim Henson's finest creations in our exclusive clip from "Muppets Most Wanted," the sequel to the rather wonderful Disney reboot, "The Muppets" (2011).
The scene is something of a reverse variation on the climactic scene with Lew Lord (Orson Welles) in the original "The Muppet Movie" (1979), but instead of Kermit and the gang trying to convince the Hollywood mogul to give them "the Standard Rich and Famous Contract," it's Gervais as hotshot agent Dominic Badguy ("it's French," meaning "good man," natch) who's trying to convince the Muppets to let him provide them with representation.
It only makes sense that the Muppets would take on "a global audience" after their successful reunion show at the end of "The Muppets," though Kermit, noticeably older and more cautious in the last film, is somewhat skeptical about Badguy's offer ... but Fozzie gets in at least one wokka-wokka play on words ("I don't want this moment to end!").
The tour deal is just the set-up, though, as "Muppets Most Wanted" — like "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981) before it — look to be more of an international thriller than the "Let's put on a show" reunion gig of the previous movie. The plot involves an identity mix-up in which Kermit is incarcerated as his dastardly look-alike, Constantine ("It's not easy being mean"), engages in a European jewel heist. We get stressed out just thinking about poor Kermit in the big house, even if he does have Tina Fey as his Russian prison guard.
Anyway, we can't wait for this one. It's most definitely time to once again play the music and light the lights.
"Muppets Most Wanted" opens on March 21.