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Empire acquires rights to Jim Henson screenplay

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by GelflingWaldo, Feb 4, 2008.


What do you think of Empire acquiring the rights to the Henson screenplay?

  1. The movie is a great idea. I hope that it gets produced.

    44 vote(s)
  2. I'm concerned that it can be done well and will honor Jim.

    26 vote(s)
  3. It's not worth doing if either Disney or Sesame don't support the movie.

    15 vote(s)
  4. I don't want to see it. Hollywood will likely misrepresent Jim’s life.

    9 vote(s)

  1. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    He seems to be a good lookin' Jim Henson look alike. I wouldn't mind seeing this and hope to see it in theaters other then a TV or stright to DVD but seeing how things look it i really don't mind. I would watch it no matter what.
  2. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    This could be...WOW...or "Woah..." depending how they do it. I've always wanted to see a biopic of Jim Henson, and I know they could do it if they worked it right. His life is a history of failing and starting again.

    Certainly they would have to get rights from Disney and SS and JHC...but that would be worked.

    Now what I would hate to see is a sort of Betrix Potter movie, where Henson talks to his characters...that would just be wrong.
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Nothing has really been heard aside the press release (if, that even was one) about exactly who is on board for this. I'd be surprised to see Disney getting involved, if the film didn't do well it could affect the Muppets image so why would they bother offering them up?

    I just don't see this film happening, way too many problems. Even if they could use The Muppets, so they have some actor faking a Kermit voice during those scenes? It'd look like one of those tacky HBO biogs. And if it was an official big studio release don't they think Frank Oz is going to protect his name and image rights? He isn't even on good terms as it is.
  4. IgorPonweed

    IgorPonweed Well-Known Member

    Good idea, but who can really capture Jim?
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I throught, at first, Jeff Daniels--nah. I have changed my mind. It would be if he could get the voices down, though.

    Then, the link to his guy--but can he act?
    I can't see it happening. I'd much prefer a tell-all book first (not unlike the recent Schulz book) before they do a movie. This is slightly frightening.

    I'm torn on it, but if done well and they can get JHC, Diz, and SW behind it I'm game for it.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Is Empire owned by Disney or any major studios? I looked up Empire on wikipedia, but couldn't find any pages. A page listing film distributors lists Empire, but it's redlinked.

    I have thought for years that there should be a JIm Henson movie. After Disney bought the Muppets, I thought that Disney should be the company to distribute it (maybe under Touchstone Pictures), along with Jim Henson Pictures. If clearances from Disney for the use of Muppet characters and scene recreations can't be negotiated, then they should just give up on this production. It would be too weird to see a movie on Jim Henson's life without including the Muppets.

    And for the last year I have thougth that Frank Oz should be the director. He'd know many of the stuff that I would hope the crew of this movie knows. Basically, I hope that the writers, producers, and director are very knowledgeable on Jim Henson's life, and know about the characters, productions, and people he worked with well. I hope that the people in charge know the names of Jim Henson's fellow pupeteers, know who they performed (even if most of the performers aren't mentioend by name in the movie, I don't want to see a performer performing Gonzo in one scene, and then see that same performer perform Floyd in another scene), and know what they look(ed) like.

    An idea that I've always had was to use existing audio clips whenever the performers are seen working on a scene. That way, the Muppets sound the same as they did, and the actors don't have to be able to perform with the right voices (otherwise the casting might be too hard). I won't mind if the modern versions of the puppets are shown, as opposed to new versions of puppets resembling their 1970s/ 1980s looks, but I think that there should be a new 1950s Kermit puppet built for this movie. I have a feeling that the Sam and Friends characters will be rebuilt. Even though most of those puppets still exist, I doubt that The Jim Henson Company would allow for them to be used.

    I wonder how hard it would be to recreate filming scenes from The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The StoryTeller? I'd at least be surprised if The Dark Crystal gets left out. The others could get left out, as Henson didn't perform in thsoe productions. I guess that Follow That Bird and Little Muppet Monsters won't even be mentioned, but I wonder if Muppet Babies or The Jim Henson Hour will be refferenced. Ditto with Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. I have a feeling that recreations of scenes from The Muppet Movie wil be included, but I wonder about The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhatan. I also wonder if Timepiece will be refferenced.

    Sesame Street just has to be represented somehow. I wonder if Jim Henson's reluctance to do the show will be overdramatic. It would be god to at least show recreated behind-the-scenes looks at the makiing of an Ernie and Bert sketch, and maybe a Kermit sketch.

    I wonder if any real people will play themselves (many real celebrities portrayed themselves in Man on the Moon, Andy Kauffman's biopic). It would be great if many of the classic performers played themselves, so that we wouldn't have much of a problem with how their portrayers look. I wonder if Jimmy Dean would play himself.

    For fun, when this is released, whenever a big factural error occurs we should shout "ERROR!" out loud.
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I saw the poll, and although I voted that itwouldn't be worth doing if Disney and Sesame Workshop don't give permission for the use of their characters, I would have voted for the first three chocies.

    But if this ends up being made, maybe there will be demand for new documentaries and biographies on Jim Henson, maybe older biographies (like Jim Henson: The Works) will be rereleased (it's not like many of them are dated), and maybe odler docuemntaries like Henson's Place and The World of Jim Henson wil have new DVD releases. And maybe that Jim Henson Retrospective that was produced for The Mupet Show: Season One will finally be released as a DVD bonus feature.
  8. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Empire appears to be a small - although very legit - independent. The press release was probably intended to drum up support and interest in the film. It's hard to believe they've pulled together $30 million independently without the rights and clearances have been figured out. I doubt many responsible film investors who understand the industry would sign off on that.

    I was always surprised the Henson Company didn't consider doing something like this themselves, back when they controlled all the necessary rights, trademarks, etc. in the `90s. I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure the filmmakers can make it legally without permission or the involvement of the Henson family, but typically studios don't like to do that because they leave themselves vulnerable to lawsuits for defamation.
  9. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I agree, but what appeared to be a release stated they had aquired "rights", which i gathered to be his image rights, but the whole thing does read more like a journalists story that could have been about their intentions and misquoted - though it does give Empire as the source. Nothing yet has appeared on Empires press section which is kept updated, maybe a little checking could be done to find out exactly what the deal is.
  10. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    Maybe there will be new versions of the Original Sam & Friends Cast.
  11. lowercasegods

    lowercasegods Well-Known Member

    It IS possible to make a Henson movie without permission from various parties, but at the sacrifice of a LOT of key elements to the story. I know it's a lesser example, but I think back to when they made that tv bio pic about Robin Williams in his Mork and Mindy days, and how little details had to be sacrificed, like the emblem on his uniform, to avoid copyright infringement. What we could easily end up with is a bio pic about Henson but with such memorable characters as Kurtis the Frog, Miz Porky and Fuzzy the Bear. So if this movie does get made, man, they better get all parties involved to do it right.
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder how many actors will play Jim Henson in this. I'm sure that the movie will begin with Jim Henson's childhood (showing him watching television for the very first time). But would the same actor play Jim Henson when he works on Sam and Friends up to his death? And would this movie depict Henson as having a beard during his Sam and Friends days, as opposed to the correct non-beard look?

    I wonder how old the actor who played young Jim Henson in Kermit's Swamp Years is, and if he's still an actor. Maybe he could play teenage Jim.
  13. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    i think the person who should play Jim is Dave Coleahea from Full house. He does a lot of voices and may have the look now i havn't seen him in about two years. ya know the guy who played Joyie on Full House that guy!
  14. travellingpat

    travellingpat Well-Known Member

    Ehhh i dont think that would work idk he just doesnt have the "Jim" look
  15. ploobis

    ploobis Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking, When they hire an actor to play the part of Jim would they have to teach him how to puppeteer? :confused:
  16. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    They'd have to. I think any good actor who'd want to play Jim would be (and want to be) trained in puppetry. I still think they should and will pick an actor over a puppeteer. Someone in their mid-30s would be my guess.
  17. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

  18. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    It was a press release, put out via MediaWire. I believe the press release states that they had acquired the rights to the screenplay. No word on whether it was commissioned or if the writer did it on spec.

    BTW, my favourite quote about the film so far is from the I Watch Stuff Blog:

    I actually really like Penny Marshall's movies, but that made me laugh. You can read the full post here.
  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Oh right, so its like they've bought the rights to the script from Slane, not neccasarily they've obtained any rights from Henson. The way the original newsflash story is written could be seen as a bit misleading - most people would assume that means they've got the rights to do it from Henson.

    Well if it is the case all they've done is bought a spec script, and the rest is just BS about what they'd "like" to try bring distributors on board i doubt even more we'd ever see this. It's a bit of a non-story really, lol.
  20. superboober

    superboober Well-Known Member

    I do agree with others who've stated Frank Oz would be the best choice for this. We'd have to see what his immediate schedule would look like, though.

    As long as they do it fairly and honestly, I'd love to see it. At the moment, though, I am a little worried that they will decide to inflate his faults--probably if so the womanizing aspect--to the point where he'd become unlikeable, as too many bad bioptics tend to do in the name of "dramatic effect." They should be at least partially touched on, though--it would be wrong to deny he was a perfect human being any more than it is to deny cartoons were never racist, for instance. By all means keep we the viewers updated as more news on this progresses.

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