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The Henson Gang Looks Towards A Different Kind Of Muppet/Puppet/Thing With THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS!!

Merrick here...
The Henson Co. has nabbed a script called THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS. Brian & Lisa Henson will produce the project with Jason Lust. Brian's looking to direct.
Written by Todd Berger from a story by Dee Austin Robertson and Berger, the story 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.
...says THIS ARTICLE in Hollywood Reporter. It's hard not to compare HAPPYTIME to WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (based on the synopsis above). But, since that film's sequel looks as if it'll never materialize, perhaps this'll do instead?

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST


    by j2talk

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Sounds awesome!

    by Gungan Slayer

    I need me some more Muppet/Puppet/Thing movies. This sounds awesome.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    greg the bunny PI.....

    by j2talk

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST


    by dubgasm

    almost got it

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST

    fourth, crap

    by dubgasm

    Sounds like fun tho

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    or roger rabbit meets...

    by BlackNacht


  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:59 p.m. CST

    What He Said...

    by Rogue Planet

    It's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" set in the "Greg the Bunny" universe. As unoriginal as they come. This should really be a Muppet movie, with an all-star cast, riffing on "Roger Rabbit." As it stands now, this is just a ripoff. Pity, because I respect the Henson Company, especially after shows like "Farscape," but Brian isn't his dad, try though he might. I do believe that Brian Henson is a bright guy, and has a lot of his father's gifts, but innovation doesn't really seem to be one of them. Seeing as the last several Muppet movies have tanked, both critically and financially, it's hard to see where Jim Henson's legacy will take the company. Maybe Brian would be smart to resurrect the Farscape franchise in the long-promised webisodes. Meh. Frell, indeed.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    Oh, THIS sounds good...

    by Fawst

    Remember, the 'toons in Roger Rabbit weren't second-rate citizens. Eddie Valiant just had a thing against them. Betty Boop was slumming it in the club because she was a has-been. If anything, it sounds like this would be more along the lines of Alien Nation, where the aliens really WERE second-rate. Regardless, it's humans and puppets living together (...MASS HYSTERIA!). I dig the concept. Especially if it's kinda dark. That would rule. The last dark puppet movie I saw was Meet the Feebles, and Jesus was that fucked.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Henson gang? You mean Disney whores

    by rectalscan

    This is just more milking by the great money monger known as Disney. They own the muppet rights now.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:07 p.m. CST

    will the private eye puppet with a drinking problem

    by RaveX

    happen to be a vampire as well? <p> Angel: The Puppet: The Movie!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:07 p.m. CST


    by PTSDPete

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Roger Rabbit Rip-off

    by BauerJackBauer

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:10 p.m. CST

    That's Cool

    by PTSDPete

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Roger Rabbit Meets The Feebles?

    by bgart13

    Hmm, perhaps a touch of Let My Puppets Come...?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    I liked this the first time I saw it

    by MOTHdevil

    ...when it was called Greg the Bunny or Avenue Q. Is there a reason Henson hasn't STILL moved forward with DC2 yet? Madness.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Muppets Asside......

    by D o o d

    Whatever happened to that Dark Crystal Sequel..???!!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST

    sounds like a feature length Greg the Bunny

    by Jarek

    ....with a darker storyline.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Muppets can do no wrong.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    WATCHMEN meets roger rabbit meets...


  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    "Joss Whedon's Lawyer on Line 1, Sir..."

    by ROBRAM89

    "...he's yelling something about something called Smile Time?"

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Sounds fun!

    by Organs

    If the hype is moderate enough, this could be a fun popcorn flick.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:19 p.m. CST

    im with zom-bot

    by lbayniner

    sounds like puppet watchmen . . . wait, is that the greatest phrase ever? possibly

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Yup, Smile Time

    by oisin5199

    I thought that too, except for the fact that the puppets are possessed by demons.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Not Disney you idiots

    by JuntMonkey

    This isn't Disney you stupid idiots. The famous Muppet characters were sold to Disney, but the Jim Henson Co. still exists to make things like this not involving Muppets.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Who framed Kermit the Frog?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    This sounds morbidly awesome.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Jason Segal?

    by two fathoms deep

    Was he not supposed to be writing the new Muppet movie? I was excited about that.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST

    uh, what about Jim?

    by WolfmanNards

    I think this sounds like a funny idea, but I don't think Jim Henson would approve and shouldn't the company run by his beliefs?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Meet the Feebles

    by frozen01

    God, I need to see that movie again!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Twist ending? Its crack-addict Elmo

    by KongMonkey

    Dressed up as the Jigsaw puppet no less.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    This movie sounds awesome!

    by Series7

    I love Meet The Feebles, thought I doubt that it will be that dirty and trashy. I don't think it will top it either. Though that plot sounds awesome, hopefully it Henson and Co. are going back to the darker days of the Company. Like that David Bowie movie.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Pu-Pu-Pu-Pleeeeeese Eddie!!!!!!!

    by Droid

    This sure as hell sounds like Roger Rabbit. Hollywood!!!! Don't keep ripping off awesome movies!!!! For this to even work... 1) The puppets have to be the Muppets. and 2) It would need to be done the same way New Nightmare was, where the Muppets and Henson et al played themselves. But would we really want to watch our beloved Muppets getting bumped off one by one? If its just a random bunch of new puppets then it will bomb. I would prefer Henson hang his nuts out there and create a new world like his father did with Dark Crystal. And get Jason Segal working on that Muppet movie of his. Lastly, Disney owns the Muppets. Henson Co. have nothing to do with them now. Over and Out.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Cool World meets The Muppets! Puppet sex? What would Uncle Georg

    by Monkey_King

    Let My Puppets Come, comes to mind as well when thinking about this film. This could be fun, if done right and with tons of fan service and more realistic puppets ala Farscape.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Maybe they will have Gonzo drop the N word

    by Alkeoholic77

    Just like Donald Duck did in Roger Rabbit.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Hollywood: We Need Your Ideas


    Fuck... The Muppets sold out! Roger Rabbit indeed...

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST

    How about the scripts?

    by hallmitchell

    That Bryan did. Kevin Smith's Pal? Where Gonzo becomes a " Batman" type figure. I would love to see that. And the one the guys from Sarah Marshall did to. I will go and see that to. Muppets are a great universe. They have been too quiet. Who knows maybe John Lasseter has something to do with it.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Colour me excited!

    by Spacker Dave

    This sounds like one kick-arse premise. If they could somehow ramp up the tone to a Meet the Feebles kind of intensity it would be even better but I doubt Henson Studios would take that chance.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Scripts update

    by hallmitchell

    The script by Brian Lynch was called The Next Muppet Movie. Apparently there was also a script called Muppets Haunted Hotel by someone else. So there are a few scipts in the vault there at Jim Henson company.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Forget Meet the Feebles

    by hallmitchell

    I don't want to see that type of thing in the muppet universe. It would wreck the innocence. I'm sure even Peter Jackson wouldn't want the muppets to take that avenue.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Greg ripped off Muppets in the first place

    by bah

    Behind the scenes of a puppet show. That was the Muppets. They just had more swears on Greg, ooo, edgy! Anyway, the Liza Minelli episode of The Muppet Show was a murder mystery. Statler and Waldorf did it.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST

    hey Fawst they were second class citizens....

    by The Amazing G

    it was just subtle

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST

    This May Not Suck...

    by JesusSavedIn01

    So it's Who Framed Roger Rabbit meets Greg the Bunny meets the Angel episode Smile Time...and Brian Henson of Farscape (and, well Henson) fame is directing it. Freakin' sweet!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Big Bird's Not Bad. He's just built that way.

    by Err

    Hubba Hubba.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST

    wolfmannards re: jim

    by necgray

    I don't know if you've watched Muppet Show episodes lately or watched the DVDs of the show, but Jim Henson was a subversive dude. I don't think he'd have any problem with this idea. People have a strange misconception that Jim Henson was all rainbows and lollipops because of Sesame Street and the family-friendly Muppet Show. But he appreciated darker material. Watch his short films and you'll see some of what I'm talking about. And don't forget, this is Brian's project. Jim was always VERY supportive of his children.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Robram and Mothdevil re: ripoff or whatever

    by necgray

    So I guess whenever anyone decides to use Henson-esque puppets in a non-family-friendly manner it's either Greg the Bunny, Avenue Q, or the Angel episode. I suppose that Meet the Feebles was precognitively ripping off Avenue Q? Where's Fireproof in all this? Doesn't he have some anti-Henson naysaying bullshit rhetoric to spout?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Avenue Q

    by enderandrew

    Seriously, has no one ever heard of Avenue Q before?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:34 p.m. CST

    Avenue Q = Wonder Showzen for gays

    by blue1622

    Avenue Q was the heavily watered down, psuedo-edgy, square friendly version.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:48 p.m. CST

    The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of The Apocalypse

    by Mr. Marvel

    Read it. Fairly similar idea to this.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:56 p.m. CST

    blue1622, you are so wrong

    by necgray

    Wonder Showzen, while it has its moments, is a giant ball of fucking incomprehensible garbage. Those moments of which I speak are hilarious and beyond Avenue Q, I'll grant you, but I never watched Avenue Q and said to myself, "What the fuck?" I also never wanted to kick the makers of Avenue Q in the teeth for an idiot stunt display of assholery like SOOOOOOOO many sketches on WS. WS is the mentally deficient kid brother of Tim and Eric, who are themselves the mentally deficient kid brothers of Space Ghost. Each brother is dumber than the last.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Weak Premise

    by Teddy Artery

    Surely there could be a better reason to have live muppets interacting with people... like if the main character was a kids show puppeteer and he was going through a mental breakdown as he goes through a bitter divorce with his wife... C'mon, anything's better than a straight-up rip-off of Roger Rabbit.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Roger Rabbit Rip-off

    by BauerJackBauer

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 3:56 a.m. CST

    I love puppets and love Roger Rabbit

    by David Cloverfield

    I have no problem with that. Although we could really use a Roger Rabbit sequel.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 6:07 a.m. CST

    At last

    by kwisatzhaderach

    something that isn't superbland and corporate-friendly.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Puppet torture porn

    by Knuckleduster

    You want it. I want it. Let's make it happen, Hollywood.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 9 a.m. CST

    As long as it is similar to Team America

    by Slippy

    I'm there.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Pppppwwwwweeeeeezzzzzz Eddie!!!

    by zer0cool2k2

    If they can work Puppet Angel in, we might have something.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Fucking YESSS!

    by Veraxus

    Wow, I didn't think movies like this got made any more. This just jumped right to the top of my most anticipated list.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    The Puppet Rapist

    by Kizeesh

    Was a bit like this, I recommend everyone check it out, it was epic and hysterically funny pisstake of the muppets.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 8:18 p.m. CST

    You're Right, The Amazing G

    by ericinwisconsin

    Remember Acme telling Valiant that the Ink & Paint Club was "strictly humans only"? May I call you "The"?

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 3:10 a.m. CST

    isn't this just Greg the Bunny...

    by Brannagins Law

    with a touch of Meet the Feebles? I really don't care since Dark Crystal II got canceled. Brian Froud, Trevor Jones, and Gendy Tartakovsky were all good to go for fuck sake!!! What hollywood assnugget said no to that? Why can't they just do another Muppet movie. It's way over due and Muppets in Space and Muppet Christmas Carol where pretty decent concidering.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    It IS just Greg the Bunny.

    by spcglider

    You'd think that the Henson folks would take the time to consider OTHRER folks' work before they jump in on something like this. Unless, of course, they feel that this sort of "puppets as second-class citizens" thing hasn't been explored enough. But frankly, I think it has. GtheB did it well and did it with some kick-ass humor. I never really found "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" engaging. I can't imagine I'd find this any moreso... and I'm a puppet fanatic.