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Empire acquires rights to Jim Henson screenplay

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

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

The movie is a great idea. I hope that it gets produced. 44 vote(s) 46.8%
I'm concerned that it can be done well and will honor Jim. 26 vote(s) 27.7%
It's not worth doing if either Disney or Sesame don't support the movie. 15 vote(s) 16.0%
I don't want to see it. Hollywood will likely misrepresent Jim’s life. 9 vote(s) 9.6%

  1. Luke Active Member

    I guess if Henson/Disney don't get involved, as well as being nigh impossible to do without the proper Muppets, they'd also probably find it hard to get one of the major Henson connected puppet performance co-ordinators to touch the project as well - we all saw how that thing in France went even with one, but without trained Muppeteers.

    I'd prefer Henson to be making it (if there was to be one) as then at least it'd be the official bio and nothing to wreck memory of him. I just see this as unlikely to ever make it to screens too - even if they got their own financial backing together they'd need Disney and Sesame Workshop, and i can't see the Henson family co-operating unless they were co-producers or something. The screenplay was probably snapped up because of Disney buying the Muppets and the people thinking they'd make some money off the back of any new Muppet popularity. I'm a bit shocked that the majority of people are all gung-ho for this and not even a bit concerned, because it blatently has car crash potential written all over it. It's nice to have someone on here who truly knows first hand what they're talking about Craig.
  2. superboober Member

    Just about any script could be a complete disaster. Then again, it could also be the one for the ages. It's all in the execution.

    Certainly this could take years to come to any sort of fruition. But as long as they do it right, better late than never. We'll have to just wait and see.
  3. Bean Bunny New Member

    I am suprised that there is no Walt Disney biopic as well. :excited:
  4. Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    Jim Carrey would actually make a great Richard Hunt.
  5. Luke Active Member

    Indeed he would!
  6. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Re Disney and the Muppet puppets...Kermit was featured in Mr Magorium's Wonder Eporium...and that was no Disney feature!
  7. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    and look at all the spots the Muppets have done on NBC which is owned by Universal. I wonder though if Disney still has some connections with other studios from the Roger Rabbit days.
  8. MuppetMarc New Member

    I've actually been wishing one would be made for awhile. I think it would be a very touching and inspirational movie, as well as people would finally understand why Jim is my hero
  9. IgorPonweed New Member

    Wow! I never thought about that. (Insert epiphany smilie here)
  10. Craig Crane New Member

    No, but watch the credits all the way through and you will see a credit acknowledging the use of the Kermit Likeness as being a copyright / trademark that belongs to Disney. Disney brought the Muppets lock, stock and barrel... any application for a license to use the characters, be it in a small part or as the key focal point in a biopic is going to come at a price that realises a return on their initial investment. Plus, they would also want absolute approval and even possible final cut on any material featuring Muppets... Its very hard to work under those conditions.

    So, how much of your projected budget do you want to spend on that license? Im not sure if you all realise the actual business that goes innnto show business... but its harsh and at the end of the day, the bean counters only count beans. Sentiment gets left at the door, you can pick it up on your way out.

    C'mon people, you have to realise that in order for this to work, Disney would need to be playing ball in such an uncompromised way that the film would be able to feature a lot of material that belongs to them. The only way for that to happen would be for them to produce such a film themselves, regardless of their already being a show in development.

    If Empire see this through, then you need to watch a generic TV movie on Hallmark and that will give you the gist of whats in store. Pick a film about an entertainer or a terminally sick kid and thats pretty much the product you will end up with. No A-List cast members, not for $60 million dollars (about 30 million pounds)..... you'll get someone you once saw in another tv movie, about some guy you may or may not have heard about, directed by some guy who may have been assistant director on a bad episode of ER if you are lucky... Thats if you are REALLY lucky.

    That is the plain truth of it it. I know you are all feverish and giddy about this, but the reality is that the output will be even more dissapointing than recent Muppet output, by Hensons and Disney combined... The only Jim Henson Biopic that would work would be one with Family participation and of course the full use of muppet archive materials and assets (the Muppets).

    Yes, its a nice idea, but I think Empire have little hope of producing anything that will satisfy the fanbase. You'll be hard pressed to find anything to like about it, because you are already expecting way too much... Its for the domestic TV market with a hope for international sales, again for the mid week TV movie market.

    I hope that in these comments I have not been disrespectful to Empire. I just want to highlight some of the very limiting factors and conditions they face. The very fact that there has been no press release from Hensons with regards to this mean that Empire are clearly going it alone with this... and that is yet another reason why I predict this film will either A; not happen, or B; Happen but not in the way you fans would like to see.

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3133118976/nm0001345

    You need to do something very very special in order to portray this man and his work.... and I dont think he deserves a lacklustre tv movie of the week, sandwiched between Deal or no Deal, Celebrity Squares and When stunts go wrong.
  11. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    So this is going to be a made-for-tv movie? I thought it was planned for a theatrical release.
  12. Craig Crane New Member

    Look at the studio's web site and then tell me how much of their output has enjoyed a theatrical release.....
  13. heralde Well-Known Member

    Honestly I don't care if it's made for TV or not. A great many bio pics are. Perhaps they're not of the highest caliber, but they're good for what they are.
  14. Kuriboh Man Active Member

    David Cross makes a good Look-a-like for Frank Oz.
  15. uppitymuppity Member

    What to say... I suppose everything is still in the speculation stage at this point but, might I remind you that if they have a working script and a budget of 30 mil - that film could be made. It's not a lot of money but think about a film like "Juno" was made for under 10. It could happen. 30 mil. is also in the feature film range of costs. So what, their company hasn't done much - it's all who becomes attached to this thing if it should ever see the light of day.

    Disney or Henson could become involved in this - you never know...

    They could never afford him but Christian Bale would make a flawless Henson.
  16. Luke Active Member

    The film probably couldn't be made once Disney lawyers jump all over it, thats before even the Henson ones start askin questions and the Henson family have even stopped biographies THEY have been involved with in the past. Seriously, how can you make a Jim Henson biopic without Kermit the Frog. It'd just be an actor picking up some generic frog puppet that doesn't look like Kermit, and him doing a voice that sounds nothing like Kermit.

    They would have tried to get Henson involved already if they do want an "official" type biopic but it is standard practice for Henson to comment as well in press releases so we can assume they are not in any way involved, and seriously, they have no hope of Disney involvement unless a) Henson family were involved already, and b) they were prepared to give up a large chunk of that 30 million and control over the film.

    Either this isn't going to happen (please god!) or it'd be a generic TV movie that'd probably either be bland, or start muck raking. And i believe a 30 million attached budget doesn't even mean they actually have 30 million, there may be conditions set to that like them getting theatrical distribution or all the permissions they need to do it well.
  17. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    They could never afford him? I've never even heard of him!:insatiable:
  18. uppitymuppity Member

    Christian Bale = BATMAN, The Machinist, 3:10 to Yuma, American Psycho, The new Terminator... on and on - They could make him look just like Henson.

    Well, everything is about Buzz in Hollywood and generally press releases of that nature are to generate some kind of interest. It's too early to rule anything out or in. You never ever know in Hollywood. We can all speculate until we are as blue as the cookie monster but, you never know what will happen here.

    If they have a good script - why not... But, they would have to use real muppets or the whole project would be irrelevant.
  19. uppitymuppity Member

    Ps

    In regards to the mention of Penny Marshall directing... I know people who have worked with her and claim that she is the worst director going. She has people set up the shots and scenes for her and generally isn't a very good director. (Hope she's not reading this!)
  20. peyjenk New Member

    I personally am really excited... after films like Ray, Walk the Line, etc., biopics are quite big right now and they tend to be very well done anymore. I just hope something comes of it and it isn't like all the other disappointments we Muppet fans have suffered through over the last few years.

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