Just on the title alone, Happytime Murders sounds too golden for moviegoers to pass up. Now, with Jamie Foxx negotiating to star in Brian Henson’s long-gestating puppet murder movie, the film becomes even more intriguing.
Henson, the son of Muppets creator Jim, has been trying to get Happytime Murders made since 2008, and STX Entertainment finally picked up the project last year. The film is being billed as an R-rated action comedy, a sort of combination of Avenue Q and LA Confidential, and tells the story of a world where puppets are second-class citizens who live side-by-side with humans. When various members of the puppet cast of fictional ‘80s TV show The Happytime Gang are murdered, it’s up to a puppet, alcoholic, former LAPD detective to crack the case. That’s the character Foxx is in talks to play.
We’re mostly excited to see traditionally family-friendly modes of filmmaking turned on their heads and repurposed for the bawdy world of adults. It’s happening in computer animation with Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party, and now it’s happening in the Muppets’ universe. We can’t help but wonder what an R-rated Barney or Teletubbies would look like.
Okay, maybe not the best idea.