March 22, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

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

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 […]
March 15, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Muppets Most Wanted’: Ricky Gervais humble before Miss Piggy, Kermit

Cinema has plenty of classic couples — Hepburn and Tracy, Bogart and Bacall, Brad and Angie — but few are as ageless or as lovable as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. The charming amphibian and his porcine paramour are reunited on the big screen for the eighth time in “Muppets Most Wanted,” which opens Friday. In this Disney caper, the Muppets fall 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 […]
Feb. 04, 2014 | 1:16 p.m.

Benedict Cumberbatch faces Muppet Moriarty on ‘Sesame Street’

Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for his performances as the eponymous detective in “Sherlock” and the villainous Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is appealing to the “Sesame Street” crowd. In an adorable video from PBS titled “Benedict Cumberbatch and the Sign of Four (or is it Three?),” the actor receives a “perplexing puzzle” from Murray Monster, who has dubbed himself “Murray-arity” — a reference, of course, to the brilliant Sherlockian villain Moriarty. “Are you ready for my brain-bending challenge, Sherlock?” the furry red monster asks Cumberbatch. “I’m not really Sherlock,” Cumberbatch responds. “I just play him on the television.” “What’s your name, then?” Murray asks. “Benedict.” “Well then are you ready for my brain-bending challenge Benedict Sherlock?” The Muppet proceeds to ask Sherlock whether there are more apples or more oranges on the table. “You’re the super-sleuth. Figure it out!” […]
Nov. 18, 2013 | 1:00 p.m.

‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ parody: Cookie Monster aims to win

Cookie Monster enters the arena in a new “Sesame Street” parody of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” “The Hungry Games: Catching Fur,” released Monday, is replete with “Hunger Games” references, kicking off with an announcement by a Muppety version of Effie Trinket. “The time has come to choose who will play in the Hungry Games,” the pink puppet says. “And may the cookies be ever in your flavor.” Cookieness Evereat — Cookie Monster with a Katniss Everdeen braid — is lured in by the promise of cookies. “Me volunteer!” Cookieness yells. “Me volunteer to play!” Puppet versions of Finnick Odair (who is a finicky eater), Peeta Mellark (a piece of pita bread) and Wiress (who carries a clock with her) also make appearances. QUIZ: Test your ‘Hunger Games’ knowledge Cookieness and company must solve food-related puzzles to fend off the horrors of the Hungry Games arena, which are, […]
Sept. 04, 2013 | 4:08 p.m.

‘Thor’ star Tom Hiddleston teaches Cookie Monster about patience

Tom Hiddleston, best known for his performance as the villainous Loki in the Marvel superhero movies, is appealing to the milk-and-cookies set. In a new video from PBS, “The Avengers” star proffers a lesson in patience to none other than Cookie Monster. In the video titled “Tom Hiddleston helps Cookie Monster learn about self-control,” released Wednesday, Hiddleston is holding a cookie when the sweet-toothed “Sesame Street” character approaches him. “Me happen to smell something,” the Muppet monster hints, not too subtly. “Ah yes, I’ve just made the correlation between your name and what I’m about to eat,” Hiddleston responds. Hiddleston proceeds to teach Cookie Monster about delayed gratification — a big word for the Sesame Street crowd — and teases the Cookie Monster while he waits piteously for his own plate of treats. “Didn’t it taste better after waiting?” Hiddleston […]
Jan. 14, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.

‘Pirates,’ ‘Muppets’ sequel news: Disney release date update

OK, movie fans. Disney would like you to update your moviegoing calendar for 2014 and beyond. In a bit of release date housekeeping, the studio announced today updated release information for some of the biggest movies on its long-range schedule, including the next installment in the rum-soaked adventures of one eyeliner-favoring pirate. The fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie will open July 10, 2015, with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson handling scripting duties for the movie, which, like its predecessors, will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and will star Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. (The previous entry in the franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directed by Rob Marshall, earned upward of $1 billion at the worldwide box office.) Two Marvel films, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” due April 4, 2014 , and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” due Aug. […]
Dec. 25, 2012 | 2:00 a.m.

Merry Christmas from Hero Complex — and chickens

Have a wonderful holiday everyone! — Gina McIntyre Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex RECENT AND RELATED PHOTOS: Kermit the Frog, a career The Muppets crash WWE, Leno Disney says ‘Make Mine Marvel’ Donald Duck: A classic quest Pixar is making a dinosaur movie 2012: The year in awesome ‘The Hobbit’ collected: Complete coverage The year in video games: Indie possibilities Muppets director promises ‘anarchic stupidity’ Kermit commanded Jason Segel’s respect
July 23, 2012 | 3:46 p.m.

Frank Oz to ‘Star Wars’ fans: Do the Yoda impression I won’t

Frank Oz was the voice of the wise and beloved Yoda and, more than 30 years after the character’s debut, not a month goes by without a fan approaching Oz with a simple request — but the answer is always the same: Do the impression he won’t. The 68-year-old Hollywood Renaissance man — Muppet puppeteer, movie director and the voice behind the pint-sized Jedi master — holds his characters too sacred for such tripe. “You wouldn’t parade your kids around like that, would you?” he said. “They’re part of me. I won’t use them as a party favor to impress people.” Oz, who lives in Manhattan, will return to Los Angeles on Thursday to accept a lifetime achievement honor at the 38th annual Saturn Awards, which are presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. He’ll don […]
Dec. 02, 2011 | 9:01 a.m.

‘Muppets’ star: ‘Kermit the Frog is a short, green Tom Hanks’

The Muppets’ big-screen comeback shows how much moviegoers longed to see Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie the Bear, Gonzo and the rest of the gang back together again. But fans who sat down in the dark with the new movie have been pleasantly surprised, too, by the newest addition to the loopy ensemble: Walter. Wide-eyed, innocent, nattily-attired and half-dazed with celebrity-puppet adoration, Walter (voiced by puppeteer Peter Linz) recently spoke by phone to Hero Complex writer Patrick Kevin Day about making a film with his (their?) childhood idols. PKD: Do you consider yourself a full-fledged Muppet now that the movie has come out? W: Yeah, I guess I kind of do. I’ve never thought of myself in grandiose terms like that. Wow, an official Muppet. But I guess that’s the case, huh? PKD: I saw a comment online in which someone […]
Nov. 09, 2011 | 5:08 p.m.

Oscars controversy: Can Muppets save the day?

Could Kermit the Frog host the Oscars? That’s what some Muppets fanatics are hoping. Thousands of Muppets fans on Facebook and Twitter are pushing for the popular characters to fill the Oscars telecast void left by the departure of Eddie Murphy, who stepped down from his hosting gig Wednesday. Murphy quit less than 24 hours after his creative partner Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the 2012 Oscar ceremony after making an anti-gay slur. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has tapped Brian Grazer — the producer of “24,” “Arrested Development” and “A Beautiful Mind” — to take Ratner’s place, but no announcement has been made concerning the hosting job yet. Enter Kermit and friends. Aside from adorable cuddliness, they have decades of stage experience, great comedic timing and plenty of cross-generational appeal — all things that the […]
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