Lionsgate Acquires Muppet Noir Film From Jim Henson’s Son

Lionsgate Films have acquired Happytime Murders, a dark comedy that mixes muppet antics with a murder mystery noir. We first reported about the film back in 2008. Written by Todd Berger and with Brian Henson, the son of famed puppeteer Jim Henson, set to direct, this film looks like it could be an amazing mix between Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Avenue Q and L.A. Confidential.

Hollywood Reporter gives a brief outline of the film’s 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 film has apparently been in development since October 2008 but with Lionsgate’s acquisition, the film is hopefully now in a position to be fast-tracked to production.

This news, combined the the fact that Jason Segal and Flight of the Conchords co-creator James Bobbin poised to begin filming a new muppet movie, means it’s a good time for those that love felt-covered characters. If it’s announced Happytime Murders is also a musical, I might just explode in joy — but that’s just the guy who still dreams of an Avenue Q movie talking.

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