It’s time for another round of Muppet Casting, where we take a famous movie and ask, if Jim Henson’s Muppets made their own version of it (in the vein of The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island), which Muppets would you cast in the lead roles?
This week it’s The Usual Suspects! There will be SPOILERS for the film’s ending here.
Fozzie Bear as Verbal Kint – The name “Verbal” comes from his tendency to talk people’s ears off, which he does throughout the film to Agent Kujan. He’s at one point referred to as being the stupid one of the group. And he often functions as a sort of sidekick to the group’s leader. Seems perfect for Fozzie. Plus, he’s pretty much the last Muppet you’d expect that Keyser Soze twist to come from, which is exactly what you want.
Kermit the Frog as Keaton – Keaton’s personality isn’t a good fit for Kermit’s, I’ll admit, but his dynamic with the other characters definitely is. The criminals may not have had a vote and picked a club president, but Keaton is clearly their leader, and is often the more level headed one trying to wrangle his more colorful co-workers, which is pure Kermit. Keaton’s relationship with Verbal also tracks well onto Kermit’s relationship with Fozzie, and there’s also Keaton’s relationship with Edie Finneran, who will be played by . . .
Miss Piggy as Edie Finneran – Because they’re each pretty much the only woman in the cast, and are romantically paired with the lead guy. Not saying that’s a great thing, but there it is.
Gonzo the Great as McManus – Unless you wanted to pick a minor-league Muppet like Crazy Harry or Lew Zealand, it’s hard to picture anyone but Gonzo selling McManus’s more crazed, manic moments.
Pepe the Prawn as Fenster – Because both of their characters are largely defined by “thick accent”.
Rizzo the Rat as Hockney – As the shortest, scummiest, and most blue-collar of the criminal crew, Hockney seems like a good match with Rizzo.
Rowlf the Dog as Redfoot – Rowlf’s definitely got the smooth, cool air for the part, even if Redfoot’s supposed to have a thread of sinister intent behind that veneer that Rowlf generally doesn’t.
Sam the Eagle as Kobayashi – No other Muppet could pull off this guy’s formal, sophisticated, and deadpan way of speaking.
Statler & Waldorf as Agent Kujan & Sergeant Rabin – In the movie, Kujan is doing almost all of the interrogation, while the sergeant is just someone he can bounce off of now and then, but it wouldn’t be hard to rewrite it so that they’re more of a duo interrogating Verbal, the better to be played by our favorite grumpy hecklers. Since the whole movie is basically Verbal (played by Fozzie in my cast list) telling a long story, while the interrogators insult him and criticize his story for being full of holes, Statler & Waldorf just seem like the perfect pick.
Those are my choices for a Muppet version of The Usual Suspects. What are yours?