A biopic based on the life of Muppets creator Jim Henson is in the works at Disney and The Jim Henson Company, according to Deadline.
Michael Mitnick (The Current War, The Giver) is writing the project, which is set to be titled Muppet Man.
The film will chart the life of the legendary puppeteer who created The Muppets, Fraggle Rock and many of the Sesame Street characters, as well as directing cult films such as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
The movie will focus on Henson’s journey to convince broadcasters that The Muppets was a great idea and how he worked to get the characters on air.
A biopic based on Henson’s life has long been rumoured. The Henson Company, which naturally owns Henson’s life rights, almost got one off the ground over a decade ago. The company snapped up Christopher Weekes‘ Black List-topping script about the puppeteer, and Michael Gracey was at one stage eyed to direct.
Weekes’ script was gritty but also included puppets as characters, and beat out Aaron Sorkin‘s The Social Network on The Black List that year. Unfortunately the project never came to fruition.
Disney has owned the rights to The Muppets since 2004 and reportedly had discussions with The Henson Company about a biopic a few years after the above project fell through, but nothing ever came of it.
Hopefully this one can see the light of day. Henson’s daughter Lisa Henson, who’s currently in production on Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming Pinocchio film for Netflix, is producing. Disney has kept The Muppets in the public consciousness with two recent movies in 2011 and 2014, and recently released Disney+ series Muppets Now.
Henson gave a lot of people joy thanks to his work, so hopefully the biopic can do him justice. With his own family involved, there shouldn’t be much of a need to worry.