When Jim Henson passed away, a few unproduced projects were left on his desk. One was an early project called Tale of Sand, a script written with frequent Muppet co-writer Jerry Juhl.
The script has been adapted into a graphic novel, by Ramón Perez and comic publisher Archaia. A twenty-page preview is now online, so you can get a taste of how one of Henson’s unrealized projects has been translated to the comic page. Read More »
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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 30 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!
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Even though Christopher Weekes‘ script The Muppet Man ‘won’ last year’s Black List poll of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, there was every chance it would never make it to the screen. Essentially a biopic of Jim Henson peppered with fantastical scenes starring The Muppets, it would require the involvement somehow of both the Henson company, who hold the right to his life story and Walt Disney, who hold the rights to his famous felt creations.
Luckily, the two companies appear to have come to an agreement and seem to be pressing ahead with the picture together. They have reportedly even agreed on the director they’d most like for the job. His name is Michael Gracey and this would be his debut feature after a slate of music videos and commercials, most famously the Evian spot with somewhat off-looking roller-babies that went atomic as a viral video.
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Last night was the one thousandth episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, but evidently interns backstage failed to inform the ever-emo Dracula of the celebration. And not helping to curb his Transylmania-prolonged depression was the fact that Ferguson’s Wavy the Alligator attempted to chomp his hand-puppet thunder as the ep’s defacto host. The upside? Drac was there alongside beanied actor/songwriter Jason Segel to perform “Dracula’s Lament,” their hit moody ballad that first appeared in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Watch the concert and more, below.
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Christopher Weekes’ Muppet Man is an innovative and often surprising screenplay for a possible biopic of Jim Henson and when it was last week named the top pick of the Black List, I was certainly very pleased. Having said that, as much as I enjoyed the script, it was obvious from page one when reading it that actually getting the thing made would be something of an ordeal.
Problem one lies in the occasionally challenging imagery. The first scene, for example, sees Kermit wake up from a “drunken nightmare” to find an empty whisky bottle on the bed stand and “a three day growth giving his felt chin a strongly pronounced six o’clock shadow”. Kid’s fare? Maybe not – well, not unless cleverly and sensitively handled.
Problem two lies in the legal issues surrounding who owns the rights to what. Simply put, Disney owns the Muppets, but not the Man. The script was snapped up pretty much as soon as it hit the market by The Jim Henson Co. but, of course, they’re powerless to make anything with The Muppets in without somehow brokering a deal with Disney.
Add to this, then, the fact that Weekes hasn’t based his biopic on facts at all but – reportedly – a few things he scraped together off of Wikipedia, some photographs and a whole lot of imagination and it’s starting to sound an awful lot like Muppet Man could never see the light of day…
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The latest trailers for Symbol (or Shinboru) hint at an odd film that mixes the claustrophobia of Cube, the asylum-like paranoia of Jim Henson’s The Cube, and the random, colorful Japanese itemization of a Turbo Grafx 16 game import. Needless to say, I’m interested, and buzz on the latest film from Hitoshi Matsumoto, the Japanese star and writer/director of cult-fave Big Man Japan, has it delivering on the promising, pristine imagery below. Nice pajamas, guy.
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Toy Vault is producing plush replicas of the door knockers from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (seen below).
This guy has something in his ears. The door knockers are a dynamic duo literally living upon a set of doors. One has a knocker ring in his ears; the other in his mouth. Therefore can hardly speak and the other can hardly hear, making them a form of irony. Grab the first of a two part series of these classic characters from Labyrinth. Complete with a hanger, perfect to meet and greet those about to enter your humble abode. Measures 14-inches tall x 9-inches wide.
Scheduled to arrive in July 2008, Entertainment Earth has the Labyrinth Door Knocker Plush available for preorder for only $24.99.
Cool Stuff is a daily feature of slashfilm.com. Know of any geekarific creations or cool products which should be featured on Cool Stuff? E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pitch: In this 1982 interview, Jim Henson talks about how High Definition Video is the Future of both Filmmaking and Cable Television, and how we’ll eventually have widescreen televisions in our homes.
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Video of the Day is a daily feature of /Film showcasing geekarific video creations. Have a video we should be feature on VOTD? E-Mail us at email@example.com.
For some kids it was Sesame Street, for others it was the Smurfs, for my best friend Jon it was Nightmare on Elm Street (which explains… a lot), but for me I grew up watching Fraggle Rock. I’ve always believed that the Jim Henson created 1983 television show was vastly underrated. Meanwhile the characters have earned cred in the hipster crowd in recent years. We’re coming up on the 25th anniversary of the series and The Weinstein Co have announced that they will be producing a live-action musical feature film.
The bad news is that Cory Edwards, the guy who directed the animated Hoodwinked! (which as you can tell, I wasn’t too fond of) has been hired to helm and write the project. The story will supposedly involve the Fraggles leaving their home to interact with the Aliens (humans) in “Outer Space”. Past rumors have involved a storyline where they go in search for Uncle “Traveling” Matt. While this seems like the logical direction to go in for a big screen adaptation, I think it’s a bad idea. The great thing about Fraggle Rock was, well, Fraggle Rock itself. You take the Fraggles out of Fraggle rock and all you have is a bunch of muppets running around in the real world. And we already saw how that worked out in the last few Muppet films.
The television show ran for 96 episodes over five seasons and focused on a group of creatures called the Fraggles, who live in a system of caves called Fraggle Rock. he series focused on one tight-knit group of Fraggles in particular; Gobo, Mokey, Red, Wembley, and Boober. The “Theme song from Fraggle Rock” was actually a top 40 pop hit in Britain.
According to wikipedia, the vision of Fraggle Rock articulated by Jim Henson was to depict a colorful and fun world. Also a world with a relatively complex system of symbiotic relationships between different “races” of creatures, an allegory to the human world, where each group was somewhat unaware of how interconnected and important they were to one another. Creating this allegorical world allowed the program to entertain and amuse while seriously exploring complex issues of prejudice, spirituality, personal identity, environment, and social conflict. Fraggle Rock generally refused to over-simplify any individual issue, instead simply illustrating the consequences and inherent difficulties of different actions and relationships.
You can watch the classic opening of Fraggle Rock below:
[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/fragglerock.flv 322 240]
Discuss: Should the Fraggles leave Fraggle Rock for the big screen movie?