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The Jim Henson Co. has gone on a book-buying binge

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by zanimum, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. zanimum New Member

    Variety: The Jim Henson Co. has gone on a book-buying binge, optioning a handful of titles for film and TV development.

    On the feature front, the company has purchased the film rights to "Perfect Circle" by Sean Stewart. The darkly comic novel is about a 32-year-old Texan who's still in love with his ex-wife, just lost his job at Petco and is being visited by ghosts.

    The children's book "Weslandia," by Paul Fleishman, was optioned by Henson in partnership with producer Ed McDonnell ("Racing Stripes").

    Story features an imaginative boy who feels like he doesn't fit into the world, so he creates his own world with its own language and clothing.

    Andrew Chapman ("Pocahontas") is attached as a writer.

    Lisa Henson and Christine Belson, production exec for film at the company, will produce the pics.

    The pair will produce "Weslandia" with McDonnell.

    For TV, Henson has bought "Conversations With the Goddesses" and "Gods and Goddesses in Love," both by Agapi Stassinopoulos.

    The books, which sketch the seven human personality traits based on traits of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, were acquired with the idea of developing a dramatic series set in contemporary times, in which characters are modeled after the Greek gods.

    Alison Taylor is currently developing the treatment.

    Taylor wrote "The Cheetah Girls" for the Disney ChannelDisney Channel and was a writer for "The Wayans Bros." and "Married With Children."

    Project was brought in by Henson; Eric Poticha, VP of television at the company, will oversee it.
  2. Infinity Sirius New Member

    And how will the Mupets be incorporated into these projects? Or is Henson moving onto other forms of entertainment other than just puppetry?
  3. GelflingWaldo New Member

    Henson has gotten the rights to a lot of books recently:

    "Perfect Circle" by Sean Stewart
    "Weslandia," by Paul Fleishman
    Conversations With the Goddesses" by Agapi Stassinopoulos
    "Gods and Goddesses in Love" by Agapi Stassinopoulos
    "Elbo Elf: P.M.O.C." by Ralph Romano and Joe Burke
    "The Witch's Children" by Ursula Jones
    "Five Children and It" by Edith Nesbit
    "Astro Boy" by Osamu Tezuka
    "Puss in Boots" by Charles Perrault

    Wow! That's a lot of movies based on books. But just keep in mind, just cause Henson made a deal for the rights to make a script based on the book, it does no mean the script will ever get finished or that a finished script will get turn into a final movie. Most likely they will get made (some are already in production or finshing up), but not all books optioned for films get to the big screen (or small screen). In the past few months Henson has gotten the rights to start working on scripts for films (so the final product will still be a few years away. But with that all said I'm glad Henson is moving on after the Muppets.

    Henson has made great books into great movies in the past (and I'm not just talking about Treasure Island, A Christmas Carol, and the tales from Muppetland specials) I mean things like Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas, The Christmas Toy, Buddy, Witches, and more. I do like how Henson tends to do more obscue books (not the big books like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, ect.) which allows the film to be judged more as a film and not as a film based on a book everyone already loves and has judged. Also a lot of the books they get are graphic novels, children's books, and short stories which allow them to develop and expand a story based on the world and characters already set up but are not bound and tied down by existing and complicated stories lines. I think that Henson will produce some great films in the coming years - its an exciting time.
  4. GelflingWaldo New Member

    Not all of Henson's productions have been (or will be) 100% Muppet or muppet-like works (like Fraggles, Emmet Otter, Secret Life of Toys, Sesame, ect.) Look at the Dark Crystal, Labrynth, The Storyteller, The Storyteller Greek Myths, Farscape, Buddy, Good Boy, Rat, Monster Maker (from the JHH), Witches, Jack & The Beanstalk: the Real Story, the fearing mind, 5 Children and It, Mirrormask. Some have heavy special effect/ uppetry some are more subtle and not as heavy in special effects needs. But these books do have large opertunity for special effect (puppetry, animatronic, computer, whatever is needed - all of which is what Henson does).

    "Perfect Circle" looks like it will have ghosts and other paranormal special effects needed.

    "Weslandia" features a boy who creates his own world - that fantacy world has options for characters and special effects.

    Conversations With the Goddesses" and "Gods and Goddesses in Love" may have some gods and mythological characters and special effect.

    But even if these productions don't need special effect / puppetry Henson has done productions with little (or no) pupetry before. Although Henson started with puppetry they do a lot more than just that now.
  5. Infinity Sirius New Member

    You're right, I just sometimes forget that they do other stuff than the Muppets. Thanks for the info!
  6. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    If JHC own the rights to this book, then how come Shrek can have Puss in that?

    __

    Interprited:

    PIRATES! (Shrek that is, not JHC)

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