1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. "Muppet Guys Talking" Debuts On-line
    Watch the inspiring documentary "Muppet Guys Talking", read fan reactions and let us know your thoughts on the Muppet release of the year.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Saturday November 18 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

    Dismiss Notice

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. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I'll keep a healthy skeptisicm, but I'm still very interested. I've often wondered if anyone would ever do this. They probably will play up some faults, just to create drama (it IS entertainment). As long as they attempt to keep a balance at the same time, I don't mind.

    It's a little annoying when I hear "All star cast." I understand stars can help create excitement for a project. But unfortunately they don't always guarantee quality. Though, Penny Marshall is a great director, I wouldn't mind her.
  2. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Whoa! That is creppy!:eek:

    By the way I was just watching a clip of David Letterman on Johnny Carson and he was doing this voice that sounded dead on like Jim's!:eek:
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Jeff Daniels only works if they only plan to make (or he only plays him for) the last decade of Jim's life. :sleep: I like Daniels, but Gosling seems a better choice for the early years. :)
  4. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

  5. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

  6. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    *jabbers a little before putting out a complete sentence* That is dead on a look a like for Jim in his younger years. I would defiantly prefer him for the earlier years.
  7. ChickyBoy37

    ChickyBoy37 Well-Known Member

    This may sound kinda crazy and at the same time uncanny but, how about if the actors perform the Characters and If the whole copyright thing is okay the Muppeteers could dub them in afterwards? for example When the Actor of Jim is performing Kermit Steve Whitmire could Dub his voice in.
  8. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    Although he's not an actor, I'd like to see Steve at least have a shot at it...there are many similarities between him and Jim, and he's got the puppet / voice part down.

    I'm suprised no one has mentioned Jim Carey. He did such an amazing job as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, and can do lots of voices, I would think he would be into it and delve deep into Henson's character like he did Andy's. He could also look like a younger and older Jim with a little makeup help. His hair still grows long!
  9. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Even though Jim Carey is a very capable actor there's just too much smarmyness associated with him. That choice of would make me sad. :sympathy:
  10. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Steve would be an interesting choice (and all the Muppet performers could be called actors ;)).
  11. IgorPonweed

    IgorPonweed Well-Known Member

    One of my favorite actors, but his roles seem nothing like Jim. I mean Jim Carrey first, then Jim Henson. :)
  12. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    With Steve, he's got the hair, the skinny profile, could possibly slightly pass with the "young Henson" look (add a beard) and makeup for the older Henson....it's really funny thinking about it. And of course if they actually get the rights to use the puppets, he's got that covered better than anyone else.

    I don't want someone who just looks like Henson, I want someone who knows him as a person and/or delves into his character / personality so much to become him.

    That's why I also mentioned Jim Carey. He has done some serious acting lately without any of the swarmy smart aleck type stuff (which was perfect for Kaufman). I think Carey could transform into a very gentle, serious, caring Henson, but that's just me. The way he transformed into Kaufman was just amazing, but granted he was a huge fan of Andy for many years, owned his bongos, had the same birth date, etc.

    Steve has the same birth date as Henson?
    ha, fun stuff to talk about on this thread, especially as a huge muppet and kaufman fan. Miss Piggy and Tony Clifton anyone?

    Here's something else interesting - a "chart" comparing the lives of Kaufman and Carey .... I bet a chart between Steve and Henson would have a lot of the same similarities. I don't know if I really buy into the whole "star" thing, but they use this to say Carey was born to play the part of Kaufman. Maybe Steve was born to play the part of Henson? :)
  13. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    yea i would feel a little better if they had the suport of the Henson Family and i would think that the family should have some say in who plays as Jim. The ones I am really interested to see being played is how there relationships where are Jim and Frank and Jim and Richard. These relationships in my opinon are very inportaint to the Muppets and border then that beacuse Jim saw something in these two men, and that was that they could do more then be a Muppeter.
  14. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I partially agree, but then sometimes casting directors are better left to these things. I recall when they tried making a John Lennon bio-pic and Yoko Ono allegedly wouldn't let an an actor play the role because his last name happened to be Chapman. I'm not saying the Henson family would be that extreme. I'm just saying families aren't always impartial.
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think Steve playing Jim could set a bad precedent and would likely be something Whitmire himself would want to stay away from. It's one thing to masterfully take over a man's iconic characters, it is another to step directly into his shoes and play him in a film. I know it's paying homage, but also it can seem like one person taking over every public aspect of Jim Henson's memory.

    Also, there's what Dave Goelz said in a recent interview that being a Muppet performer is a great way to be famous and keep your anonymity. Not many people know who he is even though he makes the rare limited appearance. Steve wouldn't get A-listed for playing Henson in a film, but he'd have a higher public profile. I'm not sure he would want that.

    I still think a seasoned B list actor taught the skills of puppetry would put-in a better performance than many puppeteers and A-list talent mentioned. Such an actor would likely be better at paying tribute to the man that Jim was rather than getting sidetracked with recognition, confusion or misidentification. There are many factors that go into such a performance, not just one or two. And actors can surprise you. Even though both are interesting choices; Jim Carrey is not the only capable actor and Steve Whitmire is not the only talented puppeteer.

    Just one frogboy's opinion. :)
  16. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I think i Got it George Clonny
  17. MrsPepper

    MrsPepper Well-Known Member

    Nooooo! :eek: Seriously, Dwayne? :confused: My plea for this movie, if it gets off the ground: Please keep Hollywood away. :o

    I'm not particularly sold on any of the actors people have been thinking of, but I think the closest suggestion so far has been Ryan Gosling. Until recently he has been relatively unknown, but he has been an actor for alot longer than he has been famous (Breaker High, anyone?) and he's been in alot of smaller movies that have displayed his amazing ability to get inside the skin of his characters. And physically he would be believable in the part.

    The other idea would be if they did different actors for different parts of his life, like in that new Bob Dylan movie (but not as drastic... I don't want to see Jim played by Cate Blanchett, lol). Something along those lines might also be interesting to see.
  18. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

    They wont cast a Muppeteer. They will cast an actor who they beleive can convey the story set out in the screen play.
    They have a very small budget, so most of your suggestions are not valid, especially Carey.

    They have optioned the screenplay, and thats about as far as itgoes. Screen plays get optioned all the time, and never see the light of day... so I wouldnt go getting your knickers in a twist over this one.... and when and if it does happen, you can be sure of one thing.... if Di$ney dont want to play ball, it will pretty much fall flat on its face without the Muppets..

    Then, you wil need to find actors who will look as if they can puppeteer in camera.... unless of course you dont show a puppeteered performance AND the actor playing the puppeteer in the same shot. That narrows your choices down a lot as you will need to find an actor who can A: Act, B: Puppeteer and C: do a passable Muppet performance.

    B&C are pretty crucial, and for thatto happen you will need to coach them. That means finnding a puppeteer who is willing to teach the unteachable (you either can do it or you cant). Then, for any set peices that require Puppet staging and choreography, you will need to find someone that can now wrangle a Muppet performance from these "newcomers" to a standard of performance that mimics the masters. Now, I have seen first hand how Kevin Clash can polish an existing puppeteers performance at a Muppet Workshop. Heck, I went in as an experienced puppeteer and came out two weeks later feeling like I had just learnt the meaning of life itself! But the flip side is that I have also seen what happens when you try and teach someone who just doesnt "get it". As the saying goes, you cant polish a turd... so casting is crucial, because you have to get not only the look and sound as close as you can, but also the skillset as well... Unlike a Marvin Gaye Biopic, Bobbay Darrin or the doors, you cant fudge something as obvious as a manually based performance. Look at Geoffry Rush in SHINE. He actually learnt how to "mime" the piano peices so the right fingers hit the right notes....

    Mmmm, Geoffry Rush.... Now there is an intelligent casting call that could work (were it me making said call). (but im not).
    Add to that suggestion Bill Nighy. Needs someone capable of a performance. Think Kurt Russell in Elvis or Gary Busey in the Buddy Holly story.... It needs to be that good.

    So, personally speaking, I would have to look at and address all of those technical issues before anything else.... They obviously have a script, they are obviously "talking" about this, with statements of intent in the press release..... but if they dont approach this carefully it will blow.... If you could do a Jim Henson Biopoic WITHOUT the use of Puppets, Muppets and creatures, it would be a walk in the park..... but unfortunatly they have to feature those aspects in some shape, one way or another and with that come many hurdles, both legally and technically.

    I just hope that whoever they hire as Puppet Performance co-ordinator is a perfectionist and manages to craft some unique performances from whoever he / she has to coordinate.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I started thinking recently... How would you all feel if they made a Jim Henson movie similar to the made-for-tv movie In Search of Dr. Seuss? That movie was sort of a biography on Dr. Seuss, but didn't have any actors portray Dr. Seuss. Instead, it invovled a reporter coming to the home of Dr. Seuss, and had various Dr. Seuss creations (played by celebrities) talking about seuss, as well as clips from various animated specials and so on. Maybe a Jim Henson movie would be better in this way... a reporter interviews Kermit and other Muppets, and various clips get shown.
  20. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    That would be a great way to do his movie,but if you ask most of the Muppets like Piggy and Fozzie they dont know who Jim is.

Share This Page