Bleeding Cool reports that Jim Henson Studios are working on The Happytime Murders, a detective film featuring puppets as second-class citizens in a world they share with humans. The main character will be puppet private eye and ex-cop Phil Philips (pictured at left in concept art), who is tracking down a serial killer who murdered his brother and is targeting the former stars of a children’s television show. Katherine Heigl reportedly has a role in the film, which is speculated to be as Phil’s human partner.
Speculation based on early concept art and script snippets is that the movie will be rated “R”. I don’t know… I can certainly see how that would be the case from what’s shown so far, but I think it would be box office suicide to push it as hard as they initially appear to be. They describe what is basically an octopus-cow sex scene, and that’d be pretty out there even for a normal film… a few deviants aside, I don’t think the general public is looking for that in a puppet film. And I’m certain they’re not looking for it in something from Jim Henson Studios, with very Muppetesque characters (side note: since Disney owns the Muppets, I believe Jim Henson Studios is unable to use the name for this project or any other; the division of Jim Henson projects after his death has some peculiar ramifications). Go for the PG-13, guys. Don’t squick people out, and you might be the next Who Framed Roger Rabbit.