It’s Melissa McCarthy’s turn to try and solve The Happytime Murders.
Variety is reporting that the comic actress has signed on to star in the comedy about an LAPD detective who lives in a world where both humans and puppets co-exist. When the puppet cast members of the old children’s series The Happytime Gang start showing up dead, the detective finds herself unwittingly teamed up with her former puppet partner turned private eye to solve the murder.
Brian Henson, son of Muppet maestro Jim Henson, has been struggling to get this film in production for some time. In the nearly nine years that Henson has been working on the project both Kathryn Heigel and Jamie Fox had expressed interest in playing the human lead. The film’s original story is by Todd Berger & Dee Robertson with Berger turning in the early drafts. RED and Meg screenwriters Erich & Jon Hoeber contributed a few drafts, with McCarthy doing a polish.
Via a press release, McCarthy stated –
When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly, and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true.
Having read the original draft of the screenplay a few years back, I’ve been following the development on this film for some time with interest. Sure, the premise sounds like a felt and foam version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? or similar to the season 5 episode of Angel “Smile Time,” but I liked it for its own take on the goofy high concept of puppets and humans living side by side.
Filming is set to start in August for a release next year.