October 16, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 16, 2008 |

Here’s a super-bizarre, terribly cool idea that will probably fail miserably in execution. But, until then, we can dream. The Jim Henson Company is putting together a comedy/noir hybrid, pushing its stable of Muppets into more adult territory. The logline is inspiring: “The story takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show called “The Happytime Gang” begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet — with a drinking problem, no less — takes on the case.”

A drunk, Muppet P.I. and Muppet murder? Holy Fozzy, Kermit. That’s fantastic!

But here’s where the idea loses me. First of all, Todd Berger is scripting it. Berger has little to his resume besides a bad Tom Arnold Christmas comedy (Chasing Christmas) and a few straight-to-DVD looking films coming out in the next couple of years, including one directed by John Landis (what the hell happened to Landis after Coming to America and the weirdly brilliant Amazon Women on the Moon?) Moreover, Brian Henson is directing. Brian Henson did not inherit his father’s talent (see, e.g., Muppet Treasure Island. Also, there are apparently absurdist elements to the film, “comparable to Broadway’s Avenue Q.” I never saw Avenue Q, but I don’t want comedic and absurdist elements in my Muppet noir, goddamnit. I want dark and gritty. I want Double Indemnity with Muppets and whores. I want to see Animal stumble drunkenly to his room and wake up, oblivious, next to Ms. Piggy. I want Muppet blasphemy, people. Something that will scar the kids. I want Kermit to put a hole in Gonzo’s head. And I want Statler and Waldorf to mock his death.

I just made my heart race.

All Murder is Happy Times!

Muppets Take Compton / Dustin Rowles

Industry | October 16, 2008 | Comments ()

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