Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Happytime Murders set for a new lease of life

It has been several years since we last heard anything about the Jim Henson Company's dark puppet noir comedy The Happytime Murders. Back in 2012 there was talk of Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher) and/or Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) being involved, but the rest was silence. Now news arrives via Deadline that distributor and financiers STX Entertainment have come aboard to get the project moving again.

Happytime was cooked up back in 2008 by Brian Henson (son of Muppet legend Jim Henson) as a 'strictly for adults' take on puppet life. It is set in a world where humans and their felt friends live side by side, but the puppets are treated as second-class citizens. Murder strikes as the seedy former stars of a once popular kids' show The Happytime Gang turn up dead one by one, and the only 'man' who can investigate is a washed-up private eye puppet, who ropes in his former partner at the LAPD. The picture above is from the original 2012 concept art.

Henson is still directing from a script now credited to Todd Berger (It's A Disaster), Dee Robertson (Holiday Road), and Red (2010) writers Erich and Jon Hoeber.

The Happytime Murders will "take puppets to a place where we have never gone before on the big screen," says Henson. "We are thrilled that Adam Fogelson and his folks at STX showed the daring confidence to get behind this project."

"This is as unique a screenplay as we have seen in a long time," says STX chairman Fogelson, "with relatable characters and a fantastic story. This project is a daring and original R-rated comedy with a distinctive voice that is completely unconventional and fun."

We will continue to keep you posted as this develops. As always, watch this space.

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