It’s been some four years now since we first heard about The Happytime Murders, the Jim Henson Co.’s puppet-centric noir satire, but perhaps spurred on by the success of last year’s The Muppets, the project seems to finally be coming together for real. Katherine Heigl signed on for a starring role sometime last month, and now IM Global has released the first pieces of concept art from the film as well as an official synopsis. Check them out after the jump.

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Jim Henson’s Muppets have always have a little subversion to them be it Miss Piggy’s sexual innuendo or their more recent viral videos. Well, Lionsgate seems to be on board with that idea as they’ve just acquired Happytime Murders, a dark, comedic murder mystery set in a world where Muppets and humans co-exist. It’s written by Todd Berger with Brian Henson, son of Jim, set to direct. Read more about the film after the jump. Read More »

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Happytime Murders – A Muppet Noir

The Jim Henson Co has begun to develop a puppet film noir detective comedy titled Happytime Murders. If we knew nothing else about this project, I would still spend $10 on a movie ticket. The story follows a puppet detective who is hired to solve a string of murders around a popular children’s television show called the Happytime Gang. The film will be populated with a mixture of human and puppet characters (to clarify, not “muppets”), and will be released under an alternative label “for content created specifically and exclusively for adult audiences.” Sounds promising. But here are two reasons why the film could suck:

1. Unfortunately, Brian Henson, the guy behind some of the worst of the Muppet movies (Treasure Island, Christmas Carol) is helming the project. To be fair, Henson directed episode of Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes titled Battleground. It was filmed entirely without dialogue, and told the story of toy soldiers who come to life and kill a hit man played by William Hurt. Could be that children films just aren’t Henson’s area of expertise?

2. The film is being scripted by Todd Berger, the screenwriter behind the horrible 2005 Tom Arnold television movie Chasing Christmas. Berger most recently penned the direct to dvd Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five short film for Dreamworks Animation.

source: Variety

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