The Flight of the Conchords may be permanently grounded at HBO, but one of its guiding forces may soon help the Muppets take flight. Vulture has learned that James Bobin, who co-created the critically praised, ratings-challenged, and now-defunct cable show, is being offered the director’s chair today on Walt Disney Pictures’ next Muppet movie. A Disney insider tells Vulture that while no deal has been finalized, “the movie is James’ to direct — if he wants it.” Neither the studio nor Bobin’s reps at Creative Artists would comment, but involved sources say that the plan is to put the film into production by late summer.
However, complicating matters is that Bobin has a second offer coming in today: He’s being wooed by Universal to direct Bridesmaids, a Judd Apatow comedy co-written by Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig about two women battling to plan their friend’s wedding party. While it would seem that a guy associated with a song entitled, “Too Many Dicks (on the Dance Floor)” would gravitate toward an Apatow raunchfest, a home run with the fun-for-all-ages Muppets has the potential to be a much bigger hit and career boost for a director who has largely dealt in niche favorites.
And it’s not like he’d be dealing solely in kiddie humor. The original Muppet Show was envisioned by Jim Henson as an adult show that was suitable for kids, and Bobin’s hiring is in keeping with that ethic; he was also a writer on Da Ali G Show. The script, intended to revitalize the franchise, was co-written by known puppetphile Jason Segel and his Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller. (Perhaps the new Muppet movie will begin with five minutes of full-frontal Gonzo nudity?) Stoller was originally supposed to direct the Muppet movie, but he was too busy doing postproduction on the Russell Brand Marshall spinoff, Get Him to the Greek, as well as prepping to direct a new Zac Efron movie at Warner Bros.
So, pop quiz: Who would win in a fight between the Conchords’ Rhymenocerous and the Muppets’ Miss Piggy?
Trick question! The correct answer is: The American moviegoing public.