Jason Segel told OnTheRedCarpet.com at Disney's D23 Expo that it was his R-rated comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" which inspired him to revive the "Muppets" franchise for his upcoming film.
"I have a very child-like side that has never gone away," Segel told OnTheRedCarpet.com at Disney's D23 Expo on August 20. "If you look back at 'Sarah Marshall,' which granted, is an R-rated movie, it ended with that lavish puppet musical, which was in some ways the genesis for this movie for me. So, I've always had that in me. I'm an R-rated dude, but I trick them into putting a puppet musical into it - I know what I'm doing."
Segel, who stars in the comedy series "How I Met Your Mother," co-wrote the script of the film, which is slated to open in theaters on Nov. 23, 2011.
The Muppets are a group of puppets the late Jim Henson created in the mid-1950s, which include Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rowdy "Animal". They starred in several of their own television shows throughout the years and the franchise has also spurred several films, such as "The Muppets Take Manhattan" in 1984, "Muppets from Space" in 1999.
For the film, Segel and his writing partner Nicholas Stoller created a new Muppet, named Walter.
"We thought of Walter and he's become very near and dear to our hearts. He's adorable," Segel said. "The thing about Walter is that he is, in a lot of ways, the eyes of the audience. He's the uber Muppet fan and he's star-struck by Kermit, as any of us would be, and we sort of see the Muppets through his eyes. He's the perfect everyman."
Segel calls the film, which has been in-the-making for several years, his "labor of love" as the actor is a life-long puppet fan.
"I was an amateur puppeteer since I was young," Segel told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "My house is like, filled with puppets. My first puppet was a puppet named Walter, which is why Walter is named Walter. Yeah, he was an old man puppet."
The movie "The Muppets" also stars Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Mickey Rooney, British funnyman Ricky Gervais, Charles Grodin and television chef Rachael Ray. Alan Arkin, Mila Kunis, Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Wanda Sykes are all set to make cameos, among others.
Segel told OnTheRedCarpet.com that he wrote the part of his love interest for Amy Adams specifically and felt humbled by many of his co-stars.
"We wrote it for her, she's capable of anything - she can do 'The Fighter' and she can do 'Enchanted,' it's just insane," Segel said of Adams. "And Chris Cooper, the villain, so all of a sudden, I'm surrounded by Academy Award nominees and winners and I'm watching them act and I'm like, 'Oh, they're just way better than me.' That's how I felt almost... and not to mention, Kermit's there! I'm surrounded by people I'm in awe of every day. It was very humbling."
Segel rose to fame on Judd Apatow's short-lived but beloved series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared." He has also appeared in films like "Knocked Up," "I Love You, Man" and "Bad Teacher."
The 31-year-old actor also stars as Marshall Eriksen in the long-running CBS series "How I Met Your Mother."
Segel, who also starred in and wrote the script for the comedy movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", told OnTheRedCarpet.com in July that he "couldn't be more excited to bring the Muppets back to their late '70s, early '80s glory."
Watch a trailer for "The Muppets" below.