Jamie Foxx is in negotiations to star in The Happytime Murders, a film noir comedy that has long been in development with director Brian Henson.
The premise of the film is simple. In a word where puppets and humans coexist, a human police detective and a puppet private investigator must join forces to stop whoever it is who is murdering the former stars of the beloved children’s show Happytime. While the puppet stars of the show were all sweetness and light on screen, their lives off screen were rather tumultuous, leaving no end to the potential suspects for the murders.
Foxx will be playing Detective Edwards, the LAPD officer who is not happy to be reunited with his former puppet partner for the case.
Director Henson, son of the famed Jim Henson who made a career out of creating entertainment based on the interaction between people and puppets, has been trying to get this project in front of cameras for some time. Back in 2012, Katherine Heigel was attached to the film in the Detective Edwards role. At some point Heigel left the project. The Jim Henson Company struck a partnership with STX Entertainment last July and it looks like things are starting to move forward on the project after all this time.
Happytime Murders is a project I have been keeping tabs on for since I first read a 2008 draft of Todd Berger’s screenplay several years back. Sure it is a variation on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?‘s mixture of cartoons and humans but I liked what I read back then. Hopefully in all this time that the project has been languishing, trying to attract the right combination of talent and studio interest to get it moving the script hasn’t been altered too much. However, that may be wishful thing as Deadline is also crediting Red and Red 2 writers Erich and Jon Hoeber on the latest screenplay draft.