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 Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy! (What’s that? You say there were more movies after the third one? . . . I don’t believe you.)
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first:
Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy as Will Turner & Elizabeth Swann – When a film’s built around an epic romance, it almost has to be Kermit and Piggy in those roles. When the male love interest is a terminally good-hearted chap often bewildered by the wild characters he gets mixed up with, and the female love interest is a beautiful woman who can also be exceptionally fierce? There’s no “almost” about it.
Gonzo the Great as Captain Jack Sparrow – This one is only slightly less obvious. When Jack pulls off an insane stunt to get from one ship to another in the midst of battle, and proudly says that, if he wasn’t crazy, it’d probably never work . . . I can’t see that as being anyone but Gonzo.
Rizzo the Rat as Barbossa – Someone unsavory and prone to backstabbing, but not actively unpleasant most of the time, is always making plenty of quips, and has great chemistry with Gonzo’s Jack Sparrow? Rizzo seemed like the best call.
Rowlf the Dog as Gibbs – The character who, as long as you don’t threaten his rum, is the most unflappable old sea salt you could hope to meet. Friendly to most everyone, but not a do-gooder by any stretch. Rowlf seems like the only Muppet who could do the part justice.
Sam the Eagle as Norrington – Who better for the rule-obsessed stiff with a profound distaste for all the weird and unsavory characters populating the rest of the movie?
Fozzie Bear as Davy Jones – We’re talking about an immortal, eldritch being who’s basically the nautical version of the devil, yet frequently ends up the butt of jokes and doesn’t actually seem to be that good of a captain. Seeing Fozzie bumble his way through the role . . . it feels right.
Janice as Tia Dalma/Calypso – This character has to spout a lot of far-out mystical mumbo jumbo. Having it delivered in Janice’s hippy-dippy cadences seemed all too appropriate.
and, as Lord Cutler Beckett
Our Very Special Guest, Mr. Glenn Howerton! – I felt like a human needed to play Beckett; no Muppet really seemed like a good fit for his mix of banality and evil. And looking at human actors, Glenn Howerton (famous for playing Dennis Reynolds on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and to much lesser extent, for playing Jack Griffin on A.P. Bio) seemed like he’d do a fantastic job portraying such a cold, slimy, and exceedingly arrogant jerkass, while still letting enough comedic lunacy slip out to make the character feel at home as a Muppet movie villain.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Pirates of the Caribbean. What are yours?