We’ve been hearing about Happytime Murders, a film noir murder story set in a world where humans and muppets co-exist (“Avenue Q meets LA Confidential,” as it was originally described), since 2008. And my God, you guys, my boner is still so swoll for this.
We got to interview Todd Berger for the film he directed, It’s A Disaster, playing at the Los Angeles Film Festival this week. As a screenwriter, he is writing Brian Henson’s puppet murder mystery The Happytime Murders.
“I want to try to make the Heat of puppet movies,” Berger said. “I want to be the Dark Knight or Heat but in a world where puppets and humans coexist. Brian was like, ‘This mystery actually needs to be interesting so that even if you took all the comedy out of it, it’s still going to be interesting to watch.”
“It is full-on R. There is swearing, there’s sex, violence, murder. There’s no way. Maybe with some work it could be PG-13 but as of now we’ve embraced the R rating.”
The Henson Company will be introducing new puppet characters in this film, and they’ll be giving some screen time to obscure, existing puppets you may not know yet. “Brian has actually already been working on the main character puppet. The Creature Shop has already made a few test puppets that I’ve met in person that are amazing. Then the whole world, because it’s not associated with The Muppets which are owned by Disney, it’s a movie in which puppets and humans coexist and a lot of the supporting characters are all puppets. So they have a puppet improv group called Stuffed & Unstrung that tours around America doing improv shows. They’re going to use a lot of those puppets but they’re also going to create a bunch of new ones. There’s a whole cast of characters in the script that they’re going to create from scratch.” [CraveOnline]
“Mom, dad, I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out: I’m quitting med school to join a puppet improv troupe.”
Anyway, my enthusiasm for this project has not decreased. In fact, this tumescent nerd boner is getting all sensitive and achy now. In the interview, Berger also talks about writing the Where’s Waldo movie for MGM, which sounds like your typical, cynical studio cash grab and sort of the opposite of Happytime Murders. It has to be weird working on two so drastically different projects simultaneously. “What’s that? Yeah, I’m currently working on developing a vaccine for pancreatic cancer, and also a Kevin James action figure that farts when you pull its finger.”