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Lionsgate picks up dark puppet comedy Happytime Muders

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Lionsgate has picked up “Happytime Murders”, a dark puppet comedy-thriller directed by Jim Henson and written by Todd Berger. The talk is that the movie will begin filming in January, depending on when they find a lead.

Here’s a little more on the project:

““Happytime” 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 with his former human partner. Think “Avenue Q” meets “L.A. Confidential.””

I actually really like this concept. If you haven’t seen Avenue Q then you may have some difficulty seeing the potential here, but let me just say that adding puppets to our reality and putting them in serious situations is really funny. I also think the dark tone of the project should make for an interesting experience.