Puppets? Noir? Katherine Heigl? Yeah, we know, it doesn’t compute in our brains either. But if she is what it takes to get this long-gestating and hella ambitious movie off the ground, then fine, we can deal with it.
In case you forgot, the actress joined “The Happytime Murders” — which we had given up for dead — last month, and it’s a far cry from her usual rote and irritating rom-coms. Penned by Todd Berger (“Kung Fu Panda 2“) and in development at the Jim Henson Co. since 2008, this R-rated crime thriller/satire/balls-out comedy is set in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, and follows a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-P.I. puppet who teams with a former human partner to take on the case of a murderer who is killing off the cast of an ’80s children’s television show called “The Happytime Gang” one by one. Sounds pretty awesome, and the vision for this thing is equally rad.
Collider got their hands on some concept art for the movie, and it’s pretty bonkers stuff. It really does have the vibe of a standard procedural, with shades of noir, but of course, the victim is bleeding stuffing. Meanwhile, the image below reveals the puppet characters won’t exactly be cuddly (this guy looks like a more haggard and heavier version of Guy Smiley). No word on Heigl’s role, but we presume she’ll be that female investigator on the left. Overall, this looks promising (though concept art and finished product can often vary wildly). But can Heigl pull off the tone that’s needed for this? Will this mashup of genres even work? Guess we’ll see, but if anyone can put these elements together, it’s director Brian Henson.