Brian Henson will direct Jack for CBS
of Jim Henson's Creature Shop
Brian Henson has signed to make his TV miniseries directing debut with "Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story'' for CBS.
The four-hour sweeps event will offer a nontraditional twist on the classic fairy tale, making extensive use of the Jim Henson Co.'s Creature Shop to bring to life the land of giants. Henson is chairman of Jim Henson Co., which was recently acquired by EM.TV & Merchandising AG of Munich.
Production is slated to start in London within the next two months. "Jack'' is being targeted for broadcast as early as May, though CBS has yet to lock in an airdate.
Henson has directed numerous series episodes, as well as the feature pictures "Muppet Treasure Island'' and "The Muppet Christmas Carol.''
He has always been attached as an executive producer of the mini, but came on board as director as scribe-exec producer James V. Hart ("Contact'') neared completion of the script.
"During the whole development process, I kept being most enthusiastic'' about "Jack,'' Henson told Daily Variety. "I finally said, 'You know, I think I'll do this one.'''
Henson said the new "Jack'' will offer a 21st century take on the fairy tale, examining Jack's theft of the goose that laid the golden eggs from the point of view of the giant and his brood.
The story will be set in the present, with one of Jack's descendants - a European version of Bill Gates -- finding himself on trial for his ancestor's "crimes'' against the giant community. Even the visual feel of the mini will differ from what most people associate with "Jack and the Beanstalk.''
"I don't want it to look like what you thought it would look like,'' Henson said.
Most recently, Henson served as executive producer and director of the Sci Fi Channel series "Farscape.''