When Disney bought the rights to “The Muppets” in 2004, they not only bought all the characters, but the name itself. That leaves Henson Studios in an odd position. They invented muppets, but can no longer use them in film. Since then it’s been a long road for Henson Studios trying to find a vehicle that might propel them into the feature film business again.
Henson Studios has finally found such a vehicle. Concept art for the Puppet-Noir movie “Happytime Murders” was just released by IM Global – a film distribution company whose money is behind many movies you know, and quite a few that you probably never heard of. I don’t know what this says about the chances of this film, but it would be nice to see a vibrant set of films from Henson Studios again.
Here’s the movie synopsis released in conjunction with the concept art:
In a world where puppets co-exist with humans as second class citizens, puppet private eye and disgraced ex-cop, Phil Phillips, is hot on the trail of the serial killer who murdered his brother and is now targeting the cast members of the famous 80s television show, “The Happytime Gang.” As the killings continue, Phil’s former flame, Jenny, is next on the list. It’s up to Phil and his ex-partner, Detective Edwards, to find the culprit, but as bad blood and old resentments resurface the clues start pointing to the only viable suspect, Phil himself. Now he’s on the run with only his wits and hardheaded determination, as he tries to solve, “The Happytime Murders.”
The film will be directed by Brian Henson, son of Muppets founder Jim Henson, and produced by Henson studios. Henson directed Muppet Treasure Island and a Muppet Christmas Carol. Kung Fu Panda scribe Todd Berger is on the script. Right now Katherine Heigl is attached to star.
What do you think? Is it about time for the return of Henson Studios? Will you watch what some are already calling Puppet-Noir?