In more recent years, they found themselves in bloody battles on television. Joss Whedon (whose dad is Muppet writer Tom Whedon) and co. enlisted the help of The Jim Henson Company to turn his good vampire Angel into a puppet for the Hugo Award-nominated 'Angel' episode "Smile Time."
And now Henson's son, Brian Henson, is eager to take the ideas of humans, puppets and murder to the big screen for a new feature film called 'Happytime Murders.'
The Hollywood Reporter posts that the project is a comedy thriller written by Todd Berger and to be directed by Henson, with the help of Lionsgate. It's a film that's been brewing for a few years, since the Henson Co. picked up the spec script in 2008, and now the Hollywood studio is interested in helping to get it made.
The story doesn't see a children's show stealing the life juice from kids and turning crime-solving vampires into puppets. Rather, it focuses on a world where humans and puppets coexist, although the puppets are seen 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 puppet LAPD detective turned private eye -- with a drinking problem, no less -- takes on the case [with his former human partner]." They're describing it as 'Avenue Q' meets 'L.A. Confidential.' The whole co-existing idea kind of reminds of Spike Jonze's recent short film 'I'm Here', about humans and robots co-existing, with the latter being looked at as a lower class of citizens. Watch the entire short below.
Regarding this new, darker-than-Roger Rabbit Muppet movie, if they're able to find the right star in time, production on the film could begin as early as January, which means that we could see this before Jason Segel's long-in-development Muppet project even gets started.
Is it time for the Muppets to get an adult storyline? Weigh in below.