‘Muppets:’ Kermit the Frog ready for super-hero duty as Amphibian-Man

March 22, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
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Kermit the Frog, Ricky Gervais and Miss Piggy star in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Greg Williams / Disney)

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Kermit is a victim of mistaken identity in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Jay Maidment / Disney)

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Walter, left, Fozzie, Gonzo, Sweetums, Kermit the Frog, Floyd, Animal, Scooter and Rowlf in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Jay Maidment / Disney)

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Dominic (Ricky Gervais) and the Muppets in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Jay Maidment / Disney)

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Sam the Eagle and Ty Burrell as Jean Pierre Napoleon in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Jay Maidment / Disney)

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Dominic (Ricky Gervais) and Constantine in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Jay Maidment / Disney)

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Scooter, left, Rowlf, Kermit the Frog, Walter, Fozzie and Gonzo in "Muppets Most Wanted." (Jay Maidment / Disney)

Kermit the Frog is a good guy by any measure, but the amphibian A-lister whose latest film, “Muppets Most Wanted,” arrives in theaters this weekend, opened up recently about his bigger ambitions — his desire to possibly tackle more action-oriented movie roles, or even star as a full-fledged superhero.

Just who exactly? Well, Amphibian-Man, of course.

“Why not? I could breathe underwater, swim faster than a speeding bullet, stuff like that. Sure,” Kermit told Hero Complex. “I do have a Marvel connection.”

Disney, of course, owns both the superhero powerhouse studio — whose latest adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Solider” opens April 4 — and the beloved menagerie of talking animals and strange zoological creations born of Jim Henson’s remarkable imagination.

In “Muppets Most Wanted,” the troupe falls into the clutches of the world’s No. 1 criminal, Constantine, who, with the exception of a facial mole and a vaguely Eastern European accent, bears a striking resemblance to Kermit.

After a case of mistaken identity leads to Kermit’s imprisonment in a Siberian gulag run by Tina Fey’s warden Nadya, Constantine — disguised as the Muppets frontman — travels with the gang to major European capitals to pull a series of heists with the help of his second-in-command, Dominic Badguy (it’s pronounced “Bad-gee”), played by Ricky Gervais, posing as an international tour manager.

The film, directed by James Bobin, does feature some serious spy caper action, and when not stuck in the gulag, Kermit said he had an opportunity to perform his own stunts for some set pieces.

“Not only the opportunity, a necessity,” Kermit said. “We really only had one other frog on set, that was Constantine and because he had a starring role, I wasn’t going to ask him to do my stunts… I feel like I could do those roles. I feel a yearning. All those Tom Cruise, George Clooney kind of Harrison Ford roles, I don’t know why I couldn’t do that.”

There are some limits to his action hero ambitions, however.

“I will promise you that I will never hang out of a helicopter again,” Kermit said, adding that in one of the most dangerous scenes in the film he was not wearing a safety harness.

“I was wearing a tux in that scene, but I didn’t want to wrinkle it up,” he explained. “I say if you’re going to do it, do it for real.”

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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