Good news, folks: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is apparently a very big Fraggle Rock fan, and that might finally be the break we've needed for the long-lost Muppets to make a comeback.
The actor/director has signed on to star and produce a new live-action Fraggle Rock film, resurrecting a project that has spent almost a decade floating around in development hell in different forms. The movie has been through a few different studios and is now being backed by The Henson Co., New Regency and Lisa Henson.
Fraggle Rock was an insanely weird kiddie puppet show, which ran from 1983-1987 and inspired some fiercely loyal fans. As Variety notes, the show focused on cave-dwelling muppets called Fraggles who went on adventures and had to deal with the industrious Doozers and furry giants called Gorgs. Jim Henson once described the series as "a high-energy, raucous musical romp. It's a lot of silliness. It's wonderful." That pretty much sums it up.
In addition to his big-screen escapades (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Looper), Gordon-Levitt has been keeping busy with some more outside-the-box projects, such as his Pivot variety series HitRecord on TV, so the Fraggle Rock thing isn’t that far out in left field. He’s always had a keen eye for the quirky:
"The first screen personas I ever loved were Henson creations, first on 'Sesame Street,' and then on 'Fraggle Rock,'" Gordon-Levitt said. "Jim Henson’s characters make you laugh and sing, but they’re also layered, surprising, and wise. From Oscar the Grouch, to Yoda, to the Fraggles. I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man, and on into adulthood. Collaborating with Lisa Henson makes me confident we can do something that Jim would have loved. I’m grateful and excited to be working with New Regency on this project."
No film date, or release date, has been announced as of yet. Considering how long the project has been in development, it could be a while yet before it actually arrives. But having a name like Gordon-Levitt attached should definitely help. Just look at what the Muppets were able to do with Jason Segel and (to a lesser extent) Ricky Gervais.
Are you glad to see Fraggle Rock is finally poised for a comeback?