Irish Times is newspaper of choice for Muppets
Director says it’s ‘the’ paper when you think of Ireland
Muppets read The Irish Times and that’s official. A faithful re-creation of an Irish Times front page – right down to the inclusion of a story about a rift in Northern Ireland unionism – appears in several key scenes while the Muppets are in Ireland as part of a world tour which also takes in Berlin, Madrid, London and, um, a Siberian Gulag.
This paper makes its Disney debut in Muppets Most Wanted when Fozzie Bear appears on screen clutching a copy with a front page splash on the whereabouts of an evil Kermit doppelganger called Constantine who (spoiler alert) has surreptitiously joined the troupe as they perform in a theatre next to the Central Bank where a key needed to access the Crown Jewels in London is hidden.
“Getting ‘Wow’ texts from cinemas about The Irish Times jumping off the screen, and in the middle of a Muppets movie, was to put it mildly a novel experience,” said editor Kevin O’Sullivan.
“Disney were even faithful to the typeface in our front page masthead. I like that attention to detail.”
So how did the newspaper get product placement in a film that will be watched by more than 5 million cinema- goers?
“I knew it had to be The Irish Times as it’s ‘the’ paper when you think of Ireland,” said director James Bobin from his LA office last night.
Disney’s General Manager in Ireland Trish Long shed more light on the Muppets’ choices. The franchise was resurrected in 2011 and the last film proved to be so popular at box offices here that Disney decided to make Dublin one of four European cities featured on the Muppet world tour.