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  10-19-2010, 02:42 PM
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It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights. It’s time to kill some puppets on the “Muppet Show” tonight!In news sure to enrage Muppet purists, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Lionsgate has purchased the rights to “Happytime Murders,” a murder mystery comedy to be directed by the late Jim Henson’s son, Brian Henson.
According to THR, the film, which the Jim Henson Company has been working on since 2008, will take place in a world in which humans and puppets coexist and revolves around the puppet cast of a popular 1980s children’s show called “The Happytime Gang,” which is systematically losing members to a mysterious killer. The case ends up in the lap of a drunken puppet private eye and his former human partner, who are now the remaining “Gang” members’ only hope of survival.
It’s a little bit of Broadway’s “Avenue Q” with a pinch of “Watchmen,” a dash of “Cool World,” a teaspoon of “L.A. Confidential” and a cup of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Thankfully, it does not appear as if any classic Muppets (i.e. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, etc.) will appear in this adult-themed thriller.
“Happytime” will also be produced by Henson, along with his sister Lisa Henson, and was penned by a screenwriter named Todd Berger, who has never written a full-length feature film.
If Lionsgate can find its leading men – presumably the voice of drunk puppet P.I. and his fleshy side-kick – the film could conceivably begin production in January. And for those of you keeping score, this would put “Happytime” well ahead of Jason Segel’s anticipated classic Muppets reboot, which is still in pre-production.
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