Back in the dark and misty past of 2010, we reported that Cameron Diaz had been offered a role in The Jim Henson Company’s forthcoming film noir puppet comedy, The Happytime Murders. The film has been in development since 2008 and still has not found a leading lady, but according to The Hollywood Reporter the producers now have their eye on Katherine Heigl, presumably for the same female detective role that they offered to Diaz. Here’s the official summary for the film,
Featuring the well-known Henson style of irreverence and parody, and taking its cues from such films as Pulp Fiction and LA Confidential, Happytime Murders will present a twist on the film noir genre. In a world where puppets are a minority race amongst humans, a puppet detective is forced to solve a string of murders around The Happytime Gang, the cast of a beloved children’s show, that is being picked off by a mysterious villain.
The film will be directed by Brian Henson, the son of the late and well-loved Muppets creator Jim Henson.
Henson Jr. produced the delightfully weird sci-fi show Farscape, which featured a number of Henson Company creations as aliens, as well as a number of children’s TV shows. He also directed Henson Company classics A Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. It will be interesting to see the big screen direction that The Jim Henson Company takes now that the Muppets themselves are owned by Disney instead.
Heigl would certainly be an excellent lead for the film’s human cast. Though her resumé includes some less-than-impressive titles, she’s fondly remembered (by me at least) for her role on The-OC-With-Aliens teen drama Roswell, and is a fine actress.