A-list screenwriter Nick Stoller of Yes Man, Get Him to the Greek and The Five-Year Engagement fame is back for Muppets Most Wanted and this time, Kermit is on a rampage. Well, it looks like Kermit is on a rampage, but actually it is Kermit’s doppelganger, the evil Constantine, who is out to do no good. When Kermit gets kidnapped and replaced with an evil frog, the Muppet’s European tour gets hijacked. Muppets Most Wanted is the sequel to the 2011 blockbuster, The Muppets.
When Stoller started brainstorming ideas for the sequel, he says he knew the filmmakers wanted to do something completely different from the first film. They wanted to be “a little bit less nostalgic and sentimental and a little bit less emotional with more of a crazy farce caper movie,” he says.
Here are some highlights of our chat:
- On his process: “I write what I call a vomit pass. It’s not good and no one will see it but me, but that’s the only way to get the story out and to know what’s wrong with it.”
- On handling notes: “I never listen to people’s solutions, but I listen to what their problems are… If one person has a problem with something and no one else does, you have to trust your gut on that, but if everyone has a problem with something, that means there’s usually something wrong with the script.”
- On how to finish. “I don’t set a time limit, I set a page limit… I say to myself I’m going to write five pages today… It’s much easier to look at five bad pages than no pages.”
- On writing a terrible scene: While writing The Five-Year Engagement, Stoller wrote a whole section of the script where Emily Blunt’s character meets her new boyfriend’s parents. “It was horrible and I knew it.” Sometimes you just have to get it out.
Muppets Most Wanted stars Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ray Liotta.
Photo credit: Disney Pictures