Another forever-delayed project has officially gotten off the ground, and it has a new cast member. The Happytime Murders, the R-rated puppet noir murder mystery movie that has been in development since the early 2000s, started filming this week. According to Screen Daily, Elizabeth Banks has signed on. She’s joining already cast members Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Leslie David Baker, and Bill Barretta under the direction of Brian Henson.
McCarthy plays lead detective Connie Edwards opposite longtime Henson puppeteer Bill Barretta who performs Phil Phillips, the puppet detective. Banks portrays Jenny, a burlesque dancer, and Rudolph plays Bubbles, Phil’s secretary.
It’s nice to see a project that has been in the works since 2008 finally get off the ground, but it makes sense that no one would finance a movie like this before now. Studios are finally figuring out that modestly budgeted R-rated comedies with target audiences can and will make money. That isn’t something people were willing to accept 10 years ago.
Summary: When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.
The Happytime Murders, directed by Brian Henson, stars Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Leslie David Baker, Bill Barretta, and Elizabeth Banks. It will be released on August 17th, 2018.
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