One of These Frogs Is Extremely Dangerous
One of These Frogs Is Extremely Dangerous By MEKADO MURPHY , 2014-03-16
For ‘Muppets Most Wanted,’ Kermit’s Evil Twin
When Disney revitalized the “Muppets” movie franchise in 2011, it added a new member to the family, a somewhat clueless puppet named Walter. Now“Muppets Most Wanted,” scheduled for release on March 21, also introduces a fresh character.
But this new Muppet looks a lot like an old one. With a signature mole and a sinister smirk, the Russian villain Constantine uses his Kermit-like looks to infiltrate the Muppet clan. Neither a lover nor a dreamer, Constantine is described in the movie as the “world’s No. 1 criminal” and is more dangerous than viewers might think. The film’s director James Bobin said that Constantine grew out of his admiration for both 1960s caper flicks and ’80s Russian movie bad guys. In writing the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, Mr. Bobin wanted to incorporate each element.
“The most obvious idea we had was: What if Kermit, the most beloved Muppet character to many, had an evil doppelgänger?” he said, speaking by phone from Burbank, Calif. “We thought it was a funny premise.” What followed was a story that involved Constantine hatching a plan with his partner, Dominic Badguy (pronounced bad-GEE and played by Ricky Gervais) to switch places with Kermit and to steal the Crown Jewels. The filmmakers and puppeteers discussed what should be the fundamental differences and similarities between the two frogs. Here, Mr. Bobin and Matt Vogel, Constantine’s puppeteer, comment on those facets.