“Muppets Live Another Day,” a rumored Disney+ project that would’ve seen Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppet gang team up with Josh Gad, has been canceled, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Gad, along with fellow series co-creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, have reportedly departed from the series’ production, prompting Disney to abandon the project. The show had never been officially announced, but rumors about the show date back as early as February of this year.
The show had been rumored to take place following the events of 1984’s The Muppets Take Manhattan (hence the project name “Muppets 1984”), as Kermit once again disbands the Muppet troupe, but they reunite to help find a missing Rowlf the Dog.
According to the Reporter‘s Lesley Goldberg, regime changes at Muppets Studios were a major factor in the decision to cancel the project. Gad, Horowitz and Kitsis had been working closely with studio vice president Debbie McClellan on “Muppet Live Another Day,” but McClellan soon departed from the studio. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, then named Disney Parks Live Entertainment Senior Vice President David Lightbody to take over the studio. Lightbody apparently wanted to take a different direction on the Muppets, and reportedly offered the trio a chance to work on a new project featuring the characters, but the three felt strongly about their vision for the Muppets, and decided to walk away from the project rather than throw away over a year of work on a project they had faith in. Goldberg reports that the decision to depart from the project was amicable.
Gad took to social media to discuss the news, revealing previously-unrevealed aspects of the abandoned series, including original songs written by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez of Frozen fame.
View this post on Instagram
Misinformation is my least favorite kind of information so I thought I’d take a minute to clarify some news that broke today. After a little over a year and a half of working on a project called “Muppets Live Another Day,” @adamhorowitzla #eddykitsis and I have decided, with a heavy heart, to walk away. Some times creative differences are just that. The project, with original songs by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Lopez was to be directed by the great Jason Moore, (director of “Avenue Q” and “Pitch Perfect”). It was meant to be a limited event series that picked up a year after “Muppets Take Manhattan” and was essentially about what happens after you’ve reached the end of the rainbow. It was going to be Muppets by way of Stranger Things and feel like a movie spread over 6-8 episodes. Part of the joy for us, by placing the Muppets in the middle of the 1980’s, was to subvert and comment on our current love for all things nostalgia while at the same time allowing the characters to tell a story that would ultimately lead to and end in present day, revealing some secrets along the way. It has been one of the great joys of all of our lives to write words for these iconic characters. We wish this franchise all the best and thank our partners at Disney+ and ABC Studios for the opportunity to develop something so fun and outside the box. They have been nothing but supportive and terrific and we can’t wait to play again in other sandboxes. While it is sad, I have no doubt this franchise, under its new leadership will find new and wonderful stories to tell. My only hope is that one day you can all hear the BRILLIANT music by Bobby and @kristenlopez5681 wrote for Kermit and company. The music is next level good. In the meantime, Adam, Eddy and I are already cooking up new fun ideas that we cannot wait to share. Until then, long live “The Muppets.” They have given us joy for over 40 years and I have no doubt they will continue to bring us joy for the next 40 years.
The cancellation of the project does not affect the production of “Muppets Now,” the unscripted variety shorts series coming to Disney+ next year. The show was officially announced at this year’s D23 Expo.
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