Lionsgate Picks Up Dark Jim Henson Co. Puppet Film HAPPYTIME MURDERS

by     Posted 4 years, 68 days ago


Every now and then you come across an upcoming project that really makes you hope and pray it hits theaters.  Such is the case with Happytime Murders, a dementedly dark tale by Todd Berger with Brian Henson (son of Jim Henson) at the helm.  The Jim Henson Co. picked up a spec script by Berger in October 2008, and the project finally seems to have a suitor.  Lionsgate has picked up the comedy-thriller that features puppets as second-class citizens, with a possible January start date in mind. Hit the jump for full plot details and why this film is on the prowl for a lead.

kermit_noir_detective_imageThe film is described as dark and adult, while featuring puppets, so just thinking of how the film might look gives me the creeps.  Yet, I still want to see it.  Here is how Heat Vision describes the story.

Happytime takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens.  When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show called ‘The Happytime Gang’ begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet — with a drinking problem, no less — takes on the case with his former human partner.”


The filmmakers will look for a star for the lead, and I can see quite a few people that would have an extreme interest in helping to bring this film to the silver screen.  Berger (Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five) created the script based on a story he co-wrote with Dee Austin Robertson.  Brian Henson, who directed an episode of TNT’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King called Battleground (a personal favorite), is producing with his sister, Lisa.  What do you think?  Interested?

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  • Bigfiction

    I’ve been waiting for news about this for almost a year! Thanks for picking up the story. This project is everything you could ask for to counter the dog days of remake & sequel fever. It sounds awesome and I hope they get to play with as dark a vision as they want, whatever they do with it. I wanna see David Strathairn in this leading role!! He is perfect for another detective, say in the Brothers Coen “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” as Meyer Landsman, but that is just a pipe dream and the image of him as a hardboiled detective has enough potential to work well in another project just like this one.
    Sorry about the plug for Strathairn, but you gotta keep the dream alive, right?

    • Bill Graham

      I was glad to cover it. Really hope they get this film made, and do it right. Can’t wait to update on this when more news breaks.

  • Anne

    Very interested. I mean, what a weird and original script.

    • Bill Graham

      Isn’t it? I think this is one of those unique ideas that could work REALLY well.

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  • Bleh

    I think there’s a (incredibly messed up, weird) series on youtube called ‘Puppet Rapist” on yotube with a similar kind of concept. Friend showed it to me once…it was definitely…eh…..different?

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