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Disney and The Jim Henson company have set The Current War and The Giver scribe Michael Mitnick as the writer of Muppet Man, a biopic revolving around the life and talent of the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson.
The project, which is currently in development, will be a live-action affair that focuses on Henson and his mission to convince broadcasters that The Muppets was a great idea and how he worked to get the characters on air where they became a comedy staple. Henson’s own daughter, Lisa Henson, is producing for The Jim Henson Company.
As you’re likely to know, Jim Henson created The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, and several Sesame Street characters. His work has left a lasting impact on generations, with both the Muppets and Sesame Street being a culturally universal property with a limitless appeal. Henson was also an accomplished director, having directed such films as The Great Muppet Caper, The Dark Cyrstal, and Labyrinth, as well as numerous TV shorts and specials.
The Muppet Man biopic has been a passion project for The Henson Company for a long time. According to Deadline, the company snapped up Australian scribe Christopher Weekes’ Black List-topping script about the puppeteer. Michael Gracey was at one point eyed to direct (but that’s not happening). Weekes’ gritty story, is said to have included puppets as characters.
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Disney has owned the rights to the Muppets characters since 2004 and had spoken with The Henson Company about a biopic since that time. In other words, this project is long overdue, and I hope that it’s finally in the right hands.
You know that age-old question: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? My answer is always to have been a Jim Henson Company puppeteer from back in the golden days. What Jim Henson and his talented crew accomplished across their many projects is nothing short of real-life magic as far as I’m concerned. I would give anything to time-travel back to that era and work on the classic Muppet films. I’ll be paying very close attention to the development of this biopic.