Lionsgate Taking On Muppet Noir Film ‘Happytime Murders’

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned movie by the folks who’ve brought us The Muppets for decades? Well, how about a new-fashioned crime noir story about a series of puppets that get murdered? Still interested? Of course you are. Genre-friendly studio Lionsgate has recently obtained the rights to Happytime Murders, a noir film from the first family of Muppets, the Hensons. From Heat Vision.

“Happytime Murders,” a comedy-thriller written by Todd Berger and to be directed by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, has landed at Lionsgate.

The project has been in development at the Jim Henson Co. since October 2008, when it picked up Berger’s script as a spec. Lionsgate’s acquisition gives the risky project — a dark and adult story featuring puppets — a real shot at getting made, with insiders talking of a possible January start, depending on how soon a star can be found for the lead.

The film takes place in a world where both humans and puppets co-habitate the world, much like Greg The Bunny, and a series of murders take place at a local children’s program–you guessed it–The Happytime Gang, and they enlist the help of a disgraced cop turned private investigator with a drinking problem.

It’s doubtful that we’ll see any of our favorite characters from the Muppet films, but is it really that unrealistic to think that a Henson would attach himself to an adult-themed puppet film? Anyone else remember The Dark Crystal?

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