A project currently in production that I have been tracking for a few years that has me most intrigued is THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS from the Henson Company. The movie was first announced back in 2008 and then picked up by Lionsgate in 2010. It’s been fairly quiet since then but now it seems like the film is moving forward as actress Katherine Heigl has now been cast in the film.
The premise of THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is kind of like WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT with cartoons replaced by puppets. In this world puppets live alongside humans as second class citizens. The cast of a 1980s puppet kid’s show called ‘The Happytime Gang’ start to get murdered one by one and a disgraced former detective (who is also a puppet) teams up with a human partner to solve the case.
The film will be directed by Brian Henson from a screenplay by Todd Berger (KUNG FU PANDA 2) and is described as LA CONFIDENTIAL meets AVENUE Q.
This sounds as though it could be the greatest thing ever or could fail spectacularly. Heigl hasn’t previously impressed in anything since KNOCKED UP and has made some woeful films since then. Henson has previously directed some of the later, lesser Muppet movies as well as some episodes of FARSCAPE so has some experience with the puppet genre.
Colour me cautious but hopeful...
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