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Friday, September 15, 2017

Elizabeth Banks Joins Brian Henson's Puppet Comedy 'Happytime Murders'

Elizabeth Banks has joined the cast of STXfilms' puppet comedy The Happytime Murders.

The Hunger Games actress joins Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph in the project, which is being directed by Brian Henson.

The Happytime Murders takes place in the underbelly of Los Angeles, where humans and puppets coexist but puppets are viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet castmembers of a beloved 1980s children's TV show begin turning up dead, two clashing detectives — one human and the other a puppet — are forced to work together to solve the mystery.

In the pic, McCarthy portrays lead detective Connie Edwards opposite longtime Henson puppeteer Bill Barretta, who performs as Phil Phillips, the puppet detective. Banks plays Jenny, a burlesque dancer, and Rudolph plays Bubbles, Phil’s secretary.

Henson is producing for The Jim Henson Company’s Henson Alternative with McCarthy and Ben Falcone, for On the Day Productions, and Jeffrey Hayes. Lisa Henson, Dee Robertson and John W. Hyde serve as executive producers. Todd Berger and Dee Robertson wrote the initial drafts, with the latest draft by Erich and Jon Hoeber, and McCarthy. The film began production in Los Angeles earlier this week, and will be released on Aug. 17, 2018.

Banks — who is an Emmy winner for her appearances on 30 Rock and Modern Family — will next be seen in the Universal threequel Pitch Perfect 3, which she also produced.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jim Henson’s The Storytellers: Fairies Coming Soon

From Nerdist

Dragons. Witches. Giants. These characters of myth and legend have already been the focus of Archaia’s Jim Henson’s The Storyteller miniseries. The comics have taken tales about these beings from around the world and presented them as though they were stories being told from the most comfortable seat by the hearth, a la the 1980s television series starring John Hurt, The Storyteller. Archaia‘s continuing to spin the stories with their next installment in the series, Jim Henson’s The Storytellers: Fairies coming in December.

Each comic in the four issue miniseries will spotlight a tale about fairies; they’ll be pulled from cultures around the world. The first issue (main cover above and subscription cover below) by writer and artist Matt Smith (not that Matt Smith) is a reimagining of a story from Iceland. “The Elf Queen and the Shepherd” centers on a Fairy Princess who has been “cursed to the human realm and cursed to bring death with her.” That doesn’t sound promising. Luckily, she encounters Grettir the Strong, who might be able to break the spell.

Subsequent issues of Jim Henson’s The Storytellers: Fairies will feature narratives and illustrations by Benjamin Schipper, Tyler Jenkins, and Celia Lowenthal.

Hulu Greenlights ‘Doozers’ Season 2

Hulu has renewed its first original kids’ series, Doozers, from The Jim Henson Company. The preschool-targeted CG show inspired by Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock will be produced and animated by Canada’s DHX Media, with Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford serving as executive producers for The Jim Henson Co., and Anne Loi and Josh Scherba exec producing for DHX Media.

Doozers encourages children to create and innovate with “The Pod Squad” (Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex and Daisy Wheel), as they bounce from one fabulous adventure to the next in Doozer Creek. Young viewers learn about design thinking, making eco-friendly choices, how to become more aware of their surroundings and understanding how things work. The first season is now available to stream within the Hulu Kids experience and airs on just-launched Universal Kids (formerly Sprout).

“Doozers has developed an enthusiastic fan base on Hulu, and they’ll soon be back to entertain curious preschoolers with bigger stakes adventures and more exciting inventions,” said Stanford, EVP, Children’s Entertainment, The Jim Henson Co. “Our Pod Squad will be doing what they do best — using their brain power, ingenuity, and enthusiasm to solve any problem small or large. They’ll do everything from saving Doozer Creek from an impending avalanche to finding a way to save a butterfly cocoon that’s fallen from its safe haven. Our Doozers will inspire their fans to put their own ideas into action and have a fantastic time while do-do-doing it!”

The Jim Henson Co. is also the producer of popular animated series Dot., Splash and Bubbles, Word Party and Dinosaur Train.