Tina Fey: Yes to Muppets and Jason Bateman; No Way to Oscars

Mark Deming
Movie TalkMarch 1, 2013

While our great nation mourns the loss of "30 Rock," whose final episode aired on January 31, don't despair -- Liz Lemon may be gone, but Tina Fey is staying very busy. Fey's latest movie, "Admission," is ready to open in theaters on March 22, and the gifted comic actress has several future projects on her agenda.

It was announced Thursday that Fey is in talks to co-star with Jason Bateman to co-star in "This Is Where I Leave You," a screen adaptation of Jonathan Tropper's acclaimed novel about a dysfunctional family forced to come together in the wake of a tragedy. Fey is expected to play Wendy, a woman whose marriage is on the verge of collapse, while Bateman will play her brother, who has already broken up with his wife. Tropper is adapting the screenplay from his novel, and Shawn Levy, who previously worked with Fey on the hit comedy "Date Night,"
is excepted to direct.

Fey has also joined the cast of "The Muppets ... Again," the sequel to Disney's successful 2011 reboot of Kermit and his fellow Jim Henson creations. Fey is part of a stellar cast that includes Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Ray Liotta, and Christoph Waltz; in this adventure, the Muppets are on tour in Europe when they run afoul of a gang of dastardly jewel thieves. Fey will be playing a tough-as-nails guard in a Russian prison.

Fey may be busy working in movies, but don't expect her to be handing out prizes for them any time soon. After the lukewarm reception to Seth MacFarlane's recent appearance as host of the Academy Awards, there's been a call for Fey and her friend and comic partner Amy Poehler to host the big show in 2014, since Fey and Poehler's appearance on this year's Golden Globes was widely considered a slam dunk. (Even William Shatner said they should have hosted the Oscars in a comic sketch with MacFarlane during last week's show.) But Fey has already put the kibosh on such speculation, telling a reporter, "I just feel like that gig is so hard. Especially for, like, a woman -- the amount of months that would be spent trying on dresses alone ... no way." Though Fey did add, "It's an honor to be 'Shatnered.'" Given Fey's well-documented love of the "Star Wars" franchise, maybe someone got Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill to do the persuading instead of Shatner, she might just change her mind.

Watch the theatrical trailer for 'Admission':