Melissa McCarthy To Star In Puppet Thriller 'The Happytime Murders'

If you've ever wanted a movie that married the reality-blending dark comedy of Who Killed Roger Rabbit with a classic Jim Henson muppet production, you're in luck. Puppet noir The Happytime Murders is in the works (again) with an incredibly capable comedy actress.

Melissa McCarthy will star in The Happytime Murders, a noir puppet comedy directed by Brian Henson about a world in which humans and puppets warily co-exist. McCarthy will play a human detective who is forced to work with an alcoholic, disgraced puppet detective to figure out who is brutally murdering the former puppet cast members of The Happytime Gang, a beloved children's show.

McCarthy will star and produce The Happytime Murders alongside her husband Ben Falcone. Henson is still attached to direct the dark puppet comedy, after reports that Jamie Foxx would star as the lead actor as recently last year.

Happytime Murders has had a long and arduous journey to the big screen, with The Jim Henson Co. attempting to get the project off the ground since 2008. It was until STX Entertainment, the studio behind the surprisingly candid coming-of-age movie The Edge of Seventeen, picked it up in 2015 that the ball got rolling again on the reportedly R-rated dark comedy.

Some striking concept art from 2012 shows that the ideas are already fully formed, at least visually. It was just a matter of getting the right star.

But with McCarthy confirmed to star and personally producing the film via her On the Day Productions company, it looks like the cast and crew of The Happytime Murders are committed. McCarthy said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter:

"When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles' underbelly and comedy, it's like my fever dream has finally come true."

Todd Berger and Dee Robertson wrote the initial drafts for the screenplay, with the latest draft by Red 2 scripters Erich and Jon Hoeber. Here's the description of the 2012 version of the script, which will probably undergo significant changes with McCarthy overseeing further revisions:

In a world where puppets co-exist with humans as second class citizens, puppet private eye and disgraced ex-cop, Phil Phillips, is hot on the trail of the serial killer who murdered his brother and is now targeting the cast members of the famous 80s television show, "The Happytime Gang." As the killings continue, Phil's former flame, Jenny, is next on the list. It's up to Phil and his ex-partner, Detective Edwards, to find the culprit, but as bad blood and old resentments resurface the clues start pointing to the only viable suspect, Phil himself. Now he's on the run with only his wits and hard headed determination, as he tries to solve The Happytime Murders.

So what do you think? Will this be Melissa McCarthy's Who Killed Roger Rabbit?