There are certain movie ideas that, when you hear about them, make you question your sanity. Strangely enough, however, it's exactly that quirkiness and outside-the-box thinking that gives them their potential to shine. Such is the case with #TheHappytimeMurders, a movie that's been in development for more than a decade.
An idea conceived by Todd Berger and Dee Robertson, the movie has seen several revisions, but the main premise remains: Two reluctant detectives (a human and a puppet) are forced to band together to uncover the mystery of whoever's murdering the cast of The Happytime Gang, a classic children's show.
As you might have guessed from the description, don't let Henson's involvement as director trick you into thinking this is a family-friendly picture. This projects has an R rating, strong sexual content, extreme violence and a whole lot of swearing.
Last year, Jamie Foxx was attached to star. Unfortunately, the actor eventually left the project. The film had been in limbo since then. Until now, that is, because there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
'The Happy Times Murder' Is Finally Moving Forward
This time, it's at the hands of a beloved actress. Deadline is reporting that #MelissaMcCarthy has partnered with STX Films and Jim Henson's company, Henson Alternative Banner, to bring The Happytime Murders to life, directed by Brian Henson.
Staying close to its original premise, the movie will deal with two detectives. One human, played by McCarthy, and one puppet, to try and solve the mystery behind the gruesome murders of the cast members from the hit show, The Happytime Gang.
The script was written by Todd Berger, but will see further revisions from Erich and Jon Hoeber, as well as from McCarthy herself. The actress will produce under her On the Day Productions banner. Of the partnership, Adam Fogelson had this to say:
“Melissa McCarthy is the reigning queen of comedy and we believe she will make 'The Happytime Murders' the kind of hysterical, edgy, viral event that audiences today crave. This is the kind of script and material that was made for Melissa’s smart and boundary-pushing sensibilities. Having worked with her years ago on 'Bridesmaids' and 'Identity Thief', I could not be more delighted or excited to be working with her again.”
Putting her stamp of approval, Melissa McCarthy chimed in to praise the project's uniqueness and potential, stating such an idea seemed like it came straight out of her brain:
“When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true.”
In the statement, Brian Henson expressed his excitement for having McCarthy on board the project:
“Melissa and Ben’s brand of humor is infectiously unique. I am thrilled to be partnering with them and STXfilms on The Happytime Murders,”
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When will I be able to see this strange masterpiece in the making, you ask? Well, production is expected to begin in August of 2017. Like I state above, the movie has been in development for a few years now, so many of the concepts and even the main puppet of the story, have already been created. As the film's writer, Todd Berger revealed during an interview with Crave online in 2012:
"Brian has actually already been working on the main character puppet," said Berger. "The Creature Shop has already made a few test puppets that I've met in person that are amazing."
This looks like one of those films that become a hit after nobody expected them. It has some incredible talent attached. While the premise is quite... well, out there, it has the potential to become something really special. Hopefully, the team behind the project manages to give us a great film.
What do you think about The Happytime Murders finally moving forward? Let me know in the comments!