It seems it wasn't only Frank Oz who couldn't get on board with Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller's joyous, heartwarming "The Muppets." It appears that the fuzzy favorite Elmo has some lawyers, and they didn't think it was in his best interest to be palling around with Kermit and the gang in their triumphant return to the big screen.
Chatting recently with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show (via Movies), Segel revealed that a rather surreal situation developed when he tried to recruit the red covered puppet for the movie. As you know, "The Muppets" revolves around the reunion of the famed group when their studio is threatened by an evil oil baron, embodied with great relish by Chris Cooper. Set to put on the performance of a lifetime, they seek out a celebrity host to appease the television network executive, played by Rashida Jones, who is giving them broadcast time.
"I wrote a scene where we were trying to get Elmo to be the celebrity host of 'The Muppet Show', and a team of lawyers tells us no," Segel explained. "[Then] that's what actually happened -- a team of lawyers told us Elmo wasn't available."
Elmo's got lawyers...who knew? While we can always use a little more Elmo, the good news for Segel is that the movie is just fine without him, even though it would've been nice to see the pair unite again after crossing paths numerous times over the years. "The Muppets" opens on November 23rd and is every bit as enjoyable as you might have guessed. In case you need more proof, here's a video of Kermit the Frog and the film's songwriter Bret McKenzie singing the movie's key track "Life's A Happy Song" courtesy of The New York Times along with a video for the cover version of Cee-Lo Green's "Fuck/Forget You."