henson_a_rama

In a chat with MTV, Kermit-heir Brian Henson has given the world an update on the long promised Dark Crystal sequel and Fraggle Rock spin off movie. Both, he tells us, are progressing nicely and could be entering pre-production soon. Blimey. I’m not too disbelieving about the Fraggle picture but the perennially on-off Dark Crystal sequel… well, I’m hopeful anyway. We can say that.

The plan with the Fraggle film is to net a broader audience than the TV show. Here’s Henson:

It’ll have a strong musical component. It’ll be expanded to an older audience. Fraggle Rock’ [the TV show] was presented… for a pretty exclusively children’s audience. The feature film does expand it to be more accessible to a wider audience.

Adding songs to make it accessible to a wider audience? That’s a new one on me.

As for The Power of the Dark Crystal, a film we’ve had swung about like a carrot on a string for a generation now, Henson promises good things:

It has a very strong script.

MTV’s italics, Henson’s emphasis.

I’ve got a very deep affection for most things Henson, from the Muppets to the more animatronic creations and even their more recent dalliances with animation. I’d honestly love to see Doozers crawling over the big screen, or Skeksis duelling once again.

Apparently, Dave McKean’s Mirrormask came into being because the Hensons wanted to make a fantasy film on a budget. Dark Crystal and Labyrinth do such strong ongoing business on disc and this had not escaped the attention of the Henson. They seized the opportunity to seed another long-term investment, and McKean’s film was cooked up on a tight, tight budget. Perhaps it didn’t do as well as they’d hoped, because the plan now seems instead to be knotted up with restarting existing franchises and brands.

Perhaps if MTV had thought to ask about the Hensons’ in-development movie of Edward Gorey’s The Doubtful Guest I’d be reporting something really exciting. I think that’s the picture they’ve been developing that I’m most keen to see. It’s not an existing movie (despite being an adaptation, I know) and it is a truly wonderful book – a Where the Wild Things Are with a smaller installed audience? Shouldn’t mean it couldn’t be as exciting.

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