EXCLUSIVE: STX Entertainment is rolling full steam ahead, putting more product into its pipeline with the latest being a comedy from the Jim Henson Company. The untitled project will be a bit raucous so likely will get an R rating. And yes, it involves puppets. The film will combine live-action and puppetry made so famous by the Henson family but with a black comedy twist.
The story is by Todd Berger & Dee Robertson with revisions that have been done by Erich and Jon Hoeber (Red and Red 2). Apparently the team at STX fell in love with the script. Brian Henson, who will direct the project, noted that the movie will “take puppets to a place where we have never gone before on the big screen. We are thrilled that Adam Fogelson and his folks at STX showed the daring confidence to get behind this project.”
The story follows puppet stars of an iconic TV show The Happytime Gang who are some of the biggest celebrities around. But off-camera, the family-friendly cast leads the kinds of lives that would make a tabloid writer blush. When the Happytime Gang stars begin to be mysteriously murdered, two mismatched detectives – one a type-A, take-no-prisoners human with a secret and the other a crass, hard-drinking puppet with a connection to one of the victims – must put aside their huge differences to stop the killings and catch the culprit, all the while trying to resist the temptation to murder each other.
This project at STX is different than some of the others that it has put into place in that it seems ripe for merchandising/licensing and promotions. Sounds like the marketing department is going to have a good time on this one.
“This is as unique a screenplay as we have seen in a long time, with relatable characters and a fantastic story,” said Fogelson, who is chairman of the STX Entertainment Motion Picture Group. “This project is a daring and original R-rated comedy with a distinctive voice that is completely unconventional and fun.”