Currently in development, the live-action film will chart the life and times of the legendary puppeteer, creator of The Muppets, Fraggle Rock and many of the Sesame Street characters, as well as director of cult films such as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
The movie will home in on Henson’s journey to convince broadcasters that The Muppets was a great idea and how he worked to get the characters on air where they became a comedy staple.
Henson’s daughter Lisa Henson, currently in production on Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pinocchio for Netflix, is producing for The Jim Henson Company.
Playwright and screenwriter Mitnick is rewriting a previous version of a script by Adrift scribes Aaron and Jordan Kandell.
The biopic has long been a possibility for The Henson Company, which naturally owns Henson’s life rights. More than a decade ago, the company snapped up Australian scribe Christopher Weekes’ Black List-topping script about the puppeteer. Michael Gracey was at one stage eyed to direct (but is no longer aboard). Weekes’ gritty story, which also included puppets as characters, beat out Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network on The Black List that year, 2009.
Disney has owned the rights to the Muppets characters since 2004 and reportedly had discussions with The Henson Company about a biopic back in 2010, but there’s been no word since then. The studio released Disney+ series Muppets Now last year while the most recent film in the franchise was 2014 pic Muppets Most Wanted.
Entertainment-world giant Henson passed away in 1990 at the age of 53.
Mitnick, who was a writer on HBO’s Vinyl, is also currently working on a limited series on Siegfried & Roy with Peter Chernin and Endeavor Content and adapting novel Light of Days at Amblin. His play Mysterious Circumstances, based on David Grann’s article in the New Yorker, premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in 2019. He is repped by CAA, Grandview and Sloane, Offer.