There’s plenty of news developing from Disney’s D23 out of Anaheim, from Johnny Depp showing up dressed as Jack Sparrow to the company releasing just about everything in Digital 3D. What looks to be one of the biggest developments for a Disney property is the amount of things planned for the Muppet franchise, and the direction that the newest film is taking.
Not only is the newest film, The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made, hitting theaters in the next 18 months, but it’s said to be a story that Jim Henson came up with before his death. In the story, Gonzo decides to direct a film with all of his friends, but blows the budget on the opening titles. This would be the first Muppet theatrical release since 1999’s Muppets From Space.
On top of the new film in production, the felt franchise is also planning a new cooking show for the Food Network co-starring Cat Cora and yes, the Swedish Chef! ABC is also scheduling a Muppet Halloween special to air next year, and last year’s TV movie Muppet’s Letters To Santa will finally be getting a DVD release.
Along with the movie and TV news, the Muppets are also getting a revamp in the world of technology. Muppets.com is getting a complete overhaul, to look more like Facebook for the characters. You can also expect to see new iPhone and Blackberry apps that showcase our googly-eyed favorites hitting your device in the next year .
You can also expect to see brand new features for tourist attractions. The Muppet Whatnot Workship (where you can create your own Muppet) will now be located in Disney theme parks. The Muppet Disney Ride will now be in Digital 3D and there is a plan to release many more toys, including better plushes and Halloween costumes.
This is huge news for the company, as the Muppet franchise lied remotely dormant for years. No word on the plan for Jason Segal’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) Muppet film, or whether he has any involvement in The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made., but as the 2012 release date draws closer, we will have more details.