Ah, but what to my wondering eyes should appear last night but news that Gervais may play one of the lead parts in the forthcoming Muppet movie.
It probably comes as no surprise that I'm not excited about this news. On the other hand, I'm not overly concerned about it either. The Muppets tend to bring out the best in people, which is not surprising given Jim Henson's philosophy of positivity. As I've said before, I'm generally not a huge fan of Mel Brooks either, but his scene in the original Muppet Movie is one of the funniest and best parts, and a personal favorite scene of mine.
The way the headlines have been worded, my initial concern was that they might be replacing Ty Burrell with Gervais, but no, Burrell's still on board, so that's fine. Actually, casting the two of them alongside one another should make for a very interesting dynamic because they have such wildly differing comedic styles (witness Ty Burrell's acceptance speech for his well-deserved Emmy award in 2011).1 Also interesting, Burrell's character is now being described as a "lazy Interpol inspector" (my emphasis) and while I'm not completely sure what that means, it sounds like it could give him some really funny comedic fodder to work with.
I'm also interested to see who's going to end up being the villain of the movie. Will it be Burrell? Gervais? The third human lead, sometimes reported to be a Russian femme fatale? (Which I still think would be a perfect role for Stana Katic.) Or will it be one of those deals where they don't reveal the big-bad until a cameo at the climax? The way they're talking about the role possibly going to Gervais, they're comparing it to Jason Segel's role in The Muppets, which would imply that he would be playing a good guy (unless, of course, that's just what the character WANTS us to think). If I were in charge of casting, I would be inclined to cast Burrell as the good guy and Gervais as the bad guy because that's how I see them in my own mind. But truthfully, I can see either of them potentially playing a villain. I can easily imagine Burrell bringing his "you poked the bear, girls!" or his "sure you don't want to dance with the devil?" schtick to it.
So I'm curious, eofs, and I ask this with all sincerity: does this help to ease your Christoph Waltz-related disappointment?
1Watching this video again, I suddenly thought of a joke worthy of Phil Dunphy himself: "Oh good, I was hoping the result would be a Ty."
...But I can't take all the credit for that joke; before presenting the award, Juliana Marguiles said, "Here's hoping for a six-way tie," which is what inspired my joke. And then they showed a little bit more of that "you poked the bear" scene that I tried to link to above.