Brian Henson has been working for several years to get his dark comedy-noir pastiche The Happytime Murders in front of cameras. A 2010 pairing with Lionsgate yielded Katherine Heigle expressing interest in the project, but not much more. Now it looks as if the project is getting a second chance as the Hollywood Reporter is saying that Henson is teaming with STX Entertainment and the film is now moving into active development.
The original script by Todd Berger and Dee Robertson, which landed on the Black List back in 2008, tells the story of a former puppet LA police detective who crawls back out of a bottle to help his former partner solve the mysterious murders of the puppet cast of the TV series The Happytime Gang. Presumably the framework for the film is still intact, but the Reporter is stating that Red and Red 2 writers Erich and Jon Hoeber are credited with the latest screenplay draft.
Outside of Heigle, who would have played the human former police partner of the puppet private detective, the project reportedly had a hard time attracting interested actors, though the Reporter does not give any specific reasons as to why. Perhaps the new draft by the Hoebers may have fixed the issues that have caused actors to have balked.