Muppet Wizard of Oz to film in September

Phillip

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This was posted earlier by ToastCrumbs, but I wanted to start a new thread on it...

ToastCrumbs said:
The made for T.V. movie is a go. It's been given the green light by all involved. The Costume department has been at work for over three weeks, and the LA shop is busy tryin' to crew up for any building they may need. Last I heard they will be shooting in September due to all muppet performers being so busy.
For those new to the scene, The Muppet Wizard of Oz is a planned made-for-TV movie based on the original book, not the 1939 theatrical movie. It is scheduled to air on ABC, most likely next Spring.

Here is the original release from last March on the project. This is the only "official" statement released on the project. The plan then was to air the film in November, but we're probably looking at next Spring now.

http://www.muppetcentral.com/news/2004/031604.shtml

Late December, Ain't it Cool News reported this potential cast list. I stress potential because Ain't it Cool News is a questionable source (for some) and things like this usually change in the production process.

Kermit the Frog will be the Scarecrow

Fozzie Bear will be the Cowardly Lion

The Great Gonzo will be the Tin Man

Miss Piggy will be pulling double duty as both the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch

In a really cool bit of casting, Pepe the Prawn will take on the role of Dorothy's dog Toto.

And the role of Dorothy will played by a yet to be cast human guest star.

One of the issues that comes up often with Muppet productions, is how well the human guests will interact with the characters. Apparently, it's very important that the humans play it straight, and not make light of their role, or the characters. Michael Caine and Tim Curry are shining examples of this principle at work, while Kermit's Swamp Years shows what can happen when it's not. Anyway, rumor has it that "The Muppet People" (impressed with her guest spot with Elmo on Sesame Street where she donned an elephant costume) may be eyeing Natalie Portman for the lead role.
 

KGJC

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So Miss Piggy may have 2 parts? I wonder who the human guest star will be?
 

McFraggle

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I like the rumors about Natalie Portman. I think she would make a great Dorothy and she would interact with the characters well. If she can interact with Jar Jar she can interact with anybody.
 

Daffyfan4ever

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bobhopesite said:
So Miss Piggy may have 2 parts? I wonder who the human guest star will be?
Yeah. It's not likely for Piggy to play a villian. I sort of pictured her as Dorothy. Still I guess it's a good idea to have a human play Dorothy.
 

Phillip

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Initially, the idea of Piggy as a villain doesn't necessarily work. Until you try to understand WHY she might be motivated to play a villain. The interesting element about Piggy possibly playing the Wicked Witch is her motivation to be wicked.

The rumor is that Piggy will be both the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch. Since it's a dual-role, maybe she's the Good Witch until she realizes Dorothy is flirting with her frog, then all bets are off. As Dorothy flirts more and more, this irritates Piggy to no end. Pigs gets into the "wicked part" more and more as the story develops. Something like this might also be a way to get the Kermit/Piggy romance in the story without totally rewriting the tale.

If executed well, such scenes could be very good.
 

lowercasegods

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My bet is on the wizard being human. I'd suggested in this forum a long time ago that in an ideal world, Frank Oz would make a cameo as the Wizard (of "OZ", get it?). More likely than not, they'll go with a familiar actor who's accessible to their budget. Someone like Mel Brooks comes to mind immediately. He's got the right age, look and humor, not to mention he's friends with the Muppet people. He even voiced the snowman from their Chistmas special a couple years ago. That's just my guess. I think he'd do a fine job, though.
 

McFraggle

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lowercasegods said:
My bet is on the wizard being human. I'd suggested in this forum a long time ago that in an ideal world, Frank Oz would make a cameo as the Wizard (of "OZ", get it?). More likely than not, they'll go with a familiar actor who's accessible to their budget. Someone like Mel Brooks comes to mind immediately. He's got the right age, look and humor, not to mention he's friends with the Muppet people. He even voiced the snowman from their Chistmas special a couple years ago. That's just my guess. I think he'd do a fine job, though.
Either one of those two would be great.
 

Kye

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I Think Piggy as the witch is perfect! her motivation simple. She wants a new pair of shoes! When Piggy wants shoes she gets them. ask gregory Heines. :mad:
 

lowercasegods

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I think Piggy as the witch is as perfect as it is unavoidable. The witch is, afterall, the dominating female presence in the story, and what Muppet is more dominating than Piggy? I don't buy the whole "They shouldn't make Piggy evil!" line of thought. This is the Muppets, after all, and even the most diabolical of them (think Crazy Harry) isn't really evil. Piggy wouldn't be pulling a Joan Crawford ala Mommie Dearest performance here. She'd play an over-the-top, unavoidably appealing and loveable nemesis for the ol' gang from Oz. It's a role that would be true to the character she's been developing since 1975. Now if they'd put her in the role of Dorothy (which I hope they do not decide to do), I think that would be ill-fitting. Piggy doesn't have the naivety and innocence required for that part. She's too powerful an icon. If they decided against going with a human actress for Dorothy, they'd either have to dig Annie Sue out of storage or slap a pig-tail wig on Bean Bunny. After typing that last line, my vote is whole-heartedly in for Bean in a wig. I think it'd be adorable.
 
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