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

     October 12, 2010


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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