“In a world where puppets co-exist with humans as second class citizens, puppet private eye and disgraced ex-cop, Phil Phillips, is hot on the trail of the serial killer who murdered his brother and is now targeting the cast members of the famous 80s television show, The Happytime Gang. As the killings continue, Phil’s former flame, Jenny, is next on the list. It’s up to Phil and his ex-partner, Detective Edwards, to find the culprit, but as bad blood and old resentments resurface the clues start pointing to the only viable suspect, Phil himself. Now he’s on the run with only his wits and hard headed determination, as he tries to solve ‘The Happytime Murders’.”
That’s the synopsis and first real image from The Happytime Murders, written by Todd Berger, the latest film from Brian Henson, the son of the legendary Jim Henson. The press materials, revealed by Collider, show some concept art, the first (above) depicting one of the murder scenes from the film, as well as the main character, Phil (below). The Henson camp has been very explicit that these will be all new characters, just puppets, not Muppets, so many are taking that as an indication that this will definitely be grown-up fare, and free of any Disney influence.
Katherine Heigl has signed on to star in the film, although it’s unknown if she will voice a puppet or appear as a human character. As the project nears towards principal photography (it’s been in development a few years now) I’m sure we’ll hear more about the film and who will be in it, as well as a more solid shot at a release date, which for now is just listed as 2013.