After a long time out of the spotlight, 2011's The Muppets was an exuberant return for the franchise. But was it a one-and-done effort, or can it spawn a whole new series? That's the question behind Muppets Most Wanted, the upcoming sequel that aims to extend the franchise's reach into the modern day — and this first full-length trailer certainly looks like it's on the right track.
Muppets Most Wanted features a legendary criminal named Constantine, who happens to be a basso twin of Kermit the Frog. In an effort to escape justice, Constantine hides himself among the Muppets, while a Russian agent (played by a thickly accented Tina Fey) arrests Kermit in a case of mistaken identity. As Kermit tries to escape, he'll need the help of his friends to earn his freedom — as soon as they realize that Constantine and his partner in crime (Ricky Gervais) aren't the real deal.
Jason Segel, who co-wrote and starred in The Muppets, isn't headlining this second installment. But it's clear that returning director James Bobin is intent on maintaining the momentum from the first movie. Walter, a newly minted Muppet, shows up in a key role, and a love triangle between Miss Piggy, Kermit, and Constantine is also teased.
Other than those wrinkles, Muppets Most Wanted promises the usual Muppet antics: Colorful characters, wacky sight gags, and "so many Hollywood stars it'll leave you wanting more" — a boast that's immediately undercut by the ever-cynical Statler and Waldorf. It definitely looks like the Muppets franchise remains in form, but we won't know for sure until Muppets Most Wanted hits theaters in March.