happytime murders lawsuit

If we apply this to the Henson world, does it imply that Muppets can die?

Well, man, I guess so. I don’t want to speak out of bounds. I don’t want to make any remarks about the Muppet world but I would think so, right? In our world, in the Happytime Murders universe, puppets are born, puppets get older and puppets can die. There are flashbacks to when puppet characters were younger. I guess if you think about it, if the Muppet Babies are child versions of The Muppets, which means they were born and get older and therefore they can get even older and someday die, if they can die, they can certainly be murdered. It’s not like they’re eternally the same age so they had to have been born from somewhere. So yeah, I think the answer is yes. We just blew the lid off this thing.

Is the Where’s Waldo film going to be the next long gestating project we talk about every time we do an interview?

I guess so. I don’t know what’s going on with that one. Last I heard, Seth Rogen was taking it on. Even that was years ago so I don’t know. It seems like one of those ones they’ll just never figure out.

How long ago did you work on it?

That was in 2012. It was six years ago. I’ve also heard rumors they might do it animated which could be interesting. I think we’d all like to see it. It seems like a good VR project. Maybe that’s the answer.

That’s right, you could look around 360 degrees for Waldo.

Yeah.

Are you writing something else to direct?

Yes, I have a project set up. I did a project earlier this year called Cover Versions for Lakeshore Entertainment and then I have another project set up that we’re going to shoot in the spring in January, February, March that’s kind of like a political satire. I won’t get too much into the plot but when I first wrote the script five years ago, it was supposed to be set in an alternate not too distant future where we built a border wall with Mexico. Then we started invading a bunch of countries. When I wrote it five years ago, everybody who read it was like, “What is this? This is ridiculous. The world’s great.” Now it’s getting a little weird. It’s a satirical comedy, very Coen brothers-esque kind of a road movie. Hopefully maybe we’ll announce it soon and then I won’t have to hide the plot anymore. We’re supposed to shoot it the beginning next year.

Has Henson started talking about plans for a sequel to Happytime Murders not to take 15 years?

What’s funny is actually years ago, there’ve been many times where it’s kind of looked like we were going to go and then we didn’t. At one point, we actually had a conversation about not just even a direct sequel to Happytime, but because we’ve now created this world, like the Happytime Cinematic Universe of a world in which puppets and humans coexist, what are other genres of stories we can tell. This is detective movie. This is a film noir buddy cop movie. What are some others? Is there a horror movie set in this world and what does that look like? Is there a western? At the time, Dee and I even came up with an idea that we might be dusting off. Who knows? Kind of a gangster movie, like a Goodfellas type crime movie, full on gangsters with puppets in modern day. Maybe it’ll be an indirect sequel. Maybe it’ll be a direct sequel if people love the movie and it’ll be the further adventures of Phil Philips and Det. Connie Edwards.

Has there been any talk of how Phil Philips could mingle with other Muppet worlds? They’d have to be careful how he appears in more family friendly Muppet projects.

I think Brian is pretty intent on keeping the worlds separate. The Henson company is very aware of respecting children’s entertainment. They wanted to be very clear this is an R-rated movie for adults. This is not for children. This is not a Muppet movie. I think even when we were shooting, at one point someone was going to put a Kermit the Frog poster in the background and they were like, “No, no, no, no, no. Not in the same universe. This is completely separate.” So I would be surprised if ever one day the two worlds met. It seems like they really want to separate those things. Then on top of that, legally I think it’s going to be difficult because The Muppets, Sesame Street and these puppets are all owned by three completely different organizations. I’m still waiting for a Meet the Feebles crossover. I want a case to bring Phil to New Zealand and meet the Meet the Feebles cast.

Have you talked to Peter Jackson for real since developing Happytime?

No, I haven’t but I would love to.

This could be your “in.”

I think he’ll like it. I did actually get reached out, one of the puppeteers from Meet the Feebles named Danny Mulheron reached out to me because The Hollywood Reporter did an article last week. That’s where I talked about how Meet the Feebles inspired Happytime. They interviewed him and he reached out and was like, “Hey man, best of luck. So great to see the spirit living on of bad puppets.” That was awesome hearing from him.

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