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Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey to join The Muppets in crime comedy caper

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Muppets are planning to dominate the big screen again with a 1960s-style comedy caper starring Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey, director James Bobin said on Wednesday.

"The Muppets ... Again!" will follow the Muppets cast - including Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy - as they take their show on a world tour only to be unwittingly ensnared in an international theft scheme perpetrated by villain Constantine, who looks identical to Kermit.

Gervais plays the sidekick to villain Constantine, while Fey takes on the role of prison guard Nadya. "Modern Family" actor Ty Burrell will play an Interpol agent.

The film will pay homage to the 1960s comedy sleuthing "Pink Panther" movies, starring British comedian Peter Sellers.

"It's a tip of the hat to the old-school crime capers of the '60s, but featuring a frog, a pig, a bear and a dog - no panthers, even pink ones - along with the usual Muppet-y mix of mayhem, music and laughs," Bobin said in a statement.

Bobin made his directorial feature film debut with 2011's "The Muppets," starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams, which revived pop culture interest in the puppet characters first created by Jim Henson in the 1950s.

Gervais, creator of the international TV series "The Office," Fey, creator of the NBC comedy "30 Rock" and Burrell, star of ABC's "Modern Family," have all won Emmy awards.

Hollywood studio Walt Disney said "The Muppets ... Again!," a follow-up to "The Muppets," is set to be released in theaters on March 21, 2014.

The film will be shot on location in Los Angeles and London at the renowned Pinewood Studios, home to the "James Bond" films.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Eric Walsh)

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