Henson's dark, puppet drama The Happytime Murders escapes development hell

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Jul 10, 2015, 1:52 PM EDT

We’ve heard about the puppet-focused murder movie The Happytime Murders for the better part of a decade, and now it looks like the the acclaimed script might finally make it in front a camera.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the relatively new studio STX Entertainment has partnered with Jim Henson Company on the project and put it into “active development.” The script is a Black List selection (which means it’s really good), and would-be director Brian Henson has been trying to get it made for years. But, this being an adult-focused puppet/human murder mystery, it hasn’t been the easiest pitch.

It’s one of those projects that could conceivably cross over and become a hit — or crash into box office bomb cult hit status — but it seems STX has some faith in the story. The film is set in a world where puppets and humans coexist, and the cast of a 1980’s children program is being picked off by a mysterious killer. The plot teams up an alcoholic ex-cop puppet with his former human partner to solve the crime. Per the report, the story tonally falls somewhere around L.A. Confidential and Avenue Q.

The original script was penned by Todd Berger and Dee Robertson, though the latest version has been rewritten by Erich and Jon Hoeber (Red and Red 2). So yeah, the rewrite is actually a little worrisome, but we’re still fascinated by the concept.

What do you think? Would you like to see Happytime Murders finally make it out of development hell?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)