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Melissa McCarthy to Star in Puppet Comedy ‘Happytime Murders’

Variety logo Variety 5/2/2017 Dave McNary
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Melissa McCarthy has come on board STX’s noir comedy “The Happytime Murders.”

The comedy, directed by Brian Henson, is set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives, one human and one puppet, are forced to work together to try and solve the mystery of who is brutally murdering the former cast of “The Happytime Gang,” a beloved classic puppet show.

“When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly, and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true,” McCarthy said in a press release.

The film is set to begin production this August and will be produced by The Jim Henson Company’s Henson Alternative banner, On the Day Productions, and STXfilms. Producers are Brian Henson, Jeffrey Hayes, McCarthy, and Ben Falcone. Lisa Henson and John W. Hyde will executive produce.

The story is by Todd Berger & Dee Robertson; while the screenplay is written by Berger with revisions by Erich & Jon Hoeber, and further revisions by McCarthy. The Henson Company has been attempting to develop “The Happytime Murders” since 2008, aiming to mix human characters and puppets in the Henson style of irreverence and parody. Jamie Foxx most recently circled the leading role.

STX Films Chairman Adam Fogelson said, “Melissa McCarthy is the reigning queen of comedy and we believe she will make ‘The Happytime Murders’ the kind of hysterical, edgy, viral event that audiences today crave. This is the kind of script and material that was made for Melissa’s smart and boundary-pushing sensibilities. Having worked with her years ago on ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Identity Thief,’ I could not be more delighted or excited to be working with her again.”

McCarthy will next by seen in “Life of the Party,” which was written by McCarthy and spouse Falcone, and directed by Falcone; and Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

McCarthy’s other starring roles include “Spy,” “Ghostbusters,” “St. Vincent,” “Tammy,” “The Heat,” and “The Boss.”

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