Ricky Gervais, who played manager David Brent in the original and infinitely superior British version of The Office, is in talks to star in the upcoming sequel to The Muppets. He would replace Jason Segel, writer and star of the first film as well as the star of How I Met Your Mother, one of the few American sitcoms that wasn’t based on a much funnier British incarnation.
Gervais, whose David Brent was a highly complex character (unlike Michael Scott, played by – hang on, let me Google this – Steve
Carol Carrell, who was a one-dimensional buffoon), a conniving narcissist whose egoism and callous disregard for his employees masked a wounded vulnerability, will be one of three main human characters.
Little else is known about the sequel as plot details are being kept under wraps. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ty Burrell, star of Modern Family, has been cast as “a lazy Interpol investigator” – perhaps in the vein of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies, another British comedy that was remade in a much less funny manner by Americans.
Will the sequel be a musical? If so, Gervais should be perfect, as this scene from The Office (superior British version, of course) shows:
The movie is being filmed in London, and based on Burrell’s role sounds like a remake of The Great Muppet Caper, which was a sequel to the original Muppet Movie. A third main human role is yet to be cast; it’s presumably for the female lead, which would possibly rule out Martin Freeman, whose Tim Canterbury was the funnier and more poignant version of The Office’s Jim, played in the American version by an actor whose name I can’t spell.
Of course, if Gervais is signed to be in this one, it will be better than The Great Muppet Caper.