We’ve been following the slow, painful slog endured by puppet noir satire The Happytime Murders for ages now. And today it has popped back up on the cinematic radar, with word that Katherine Heigl is circling the female lead.
For anyone who doesn’t know about it, Happytime was cooked up back in 2008 by Brian (son of Jim) Henson as a strictly-for-adults take on puppet life. It’s set in a world where humans and their felt friends live side by side, but the puppets are treated as second-class citizens. Murder strikes as the former stars of once-popular kids’ show The Happytime Gang turn up dead one by one, and the only man (or Muppet) who can investigate is a washed-up private eye puppet, who ropes in his former partner at the LAPD.
Henson is directing from a script by Todd Berger, and the project has been sitting unloved in a box over at Lionsgate for a few years. Now, though, IM Global is selling it to foreign buyers to help raise the production funds, and attaching a name like Heigl’s (who still has some Hollywood pull despite some disappointing recent efforts) should help this thing get moving again.
We’re not sure what role Heigl will play, bit given that Cameron Diaz flirted with the idea of taking on the film a couple of years ago, there must be a choice human role in there somewhere.
This is the second film in a few days that Heigl has been linked to. She’s also attached to Face Blind, which will see her as a psychologist struck with a condition that means she can’t distinguish people's faces. Which is inconvenient when a patient starts stalking her and her husband thinks she’s going nuts…