The puppet movie-loving public -- which we're certain includes almost everyone who reads Moviefone -- was thrilled to see the initial report that Brian Henson, scion to the house that Kermit built, would be returning to feature filmmaking for the first time since 1996's 'Muppet Treasure Island,' with the puppet noir film 'The Happytime Murders.'
The movie was picked up by Lionsgate and is slated to begin production in January -- and Vulture reports that Cameron Diaz has been offered a starring role. With the film making real progress toward leaving behind its "risky project" description and actually being made, there's also been a lot of speculation about the project based on its one-paragraph synopsis:
"Happytime" takes place in a world where humans and puppets coexist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of 1980s children's TV show "The Happytime Gang" gets murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private-eye puppet -- with a drinking problem, no less -- takes the case with his former human partner.
The Internet has mischaracterized the film as a "Muppet noir" -- it isn't, as the Jim Henson Company sold the Muppets to Disney in 2004. Some have also compared the movie to 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and the cult TV show 'Greg the Bunny.' To clarify what 'The Happytime Murders' is really about, Moviefone recently sat down with Dee Austin Robertson, the project's creator and executive producer.