Casting Call: Katherine Heigl Up for Film Noir Puppet Comedy THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS; Al Pacino Set as Villain in DESPICABLE ME 2

     February 3, 2012

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We’ve got some casting news concerning two upcoming “kids” movies to share with you this afternoon. First up, Katherine Heigl is in talks to star in the film noir puppet comedy The Happytime Murders. You read that right, a film noir puppet comedy. The film comes from director Brian Henson (son of puppet pioneer Jim Henson) and has been in development at the Henson Company for quite some time. The pic takes place in a world inhabited by both humans and puppets, but puppets are viewed as second-class citizens. The logline goes like this:

“When the puppet cast of an 1980s kids TV show gets murdered one by one, a disgraced detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.”

Hit the jump for more on this decidedly dark puppet tale, as well as news concerning Al Pacino in Despicable Me 2.

despicable-me-2-al-pacino-imageThe Happytime Murders is definitely not light material for a children’s film (if that’s indeed the intended audience), but I can’t help but relish the thought of a film noir puppet movie. Cameron Diaz was previously offered a role back in 2010, but Variety now reports that Heigl is in final negotiations to join the project. While she’s not exactly my first choice (Diaz seems better suited for a dark comedy female lead), Heigl did show promise back in Knocked Up before she moved to romantic comedy hell. Nevertheless, I’m all for whoever Henson wants to cast in the film as long as it means that The Happytime Murders becomes a reality.

Additionally, Deadline reports that Al Pacino is set to make his animated film debut in the age-appropriate Despicable Me 2. Javier Bardem was previously set to voice the villain in this sequel to the 2010 hit, but he subsequently dropped out. Plot details for the follow-up are under wraps but back when Bardem was circling, the villain was named “El Macho” and his son was named “Machito.” The part is said to be the nemesis of Steve Carell’s Gru. Despicable Me 2 opens July 3rd, 2013.

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