The Jim Henson Co. has acquired rights to The Happytime Murders, a comedic film noir murder mystery that Brian Henson will direct for the company's Henson Alternative banner, which is meant to entertain adult audiences.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story was written by Todd Berger from a story by Dee Austin Robertson and Berger, and 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.
Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust are producing.
This would not be the first time that Henson is delving into more adult fare. In 1982, the company made The Dark Crystal, which featured a dark tone and, in one scene, nudity. But "Happytime" also will have an absurdist and comedic quality to it, comparable to Broadway's "Avenue Q," and will take cues from such movies as L.A. Confidential and Pulp Fiction.
No production date has been set.