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December 13, 2009 - The Muppet Man / background on project

Scooped on Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Los Angeles Times has a new article which finally places light on the unique genesis and current status of this project, now receiving more attention due to its placement at the top of this year's Black List.

Incredibly, screenwriter Christopher Weekes wrote The Muppet Man without having the rights to either Jim Henson or his ex-wife Jane, or an OK from The Walt Disney Company, the owners of the Muppet copyrights. Weekes was discovered by two managers in 2008 and that's when his spec script began to make the rounds as a writing sample. The script was eventually sold to the Jim Henson Company but even so, without the consent of Disney, the movie as it read in Weekes' draft couldn't be made.

Even with interest from heavyweights like Jim Carrey and Leonardo DiCaprio to play the part of Henson, Weekes' script has sat dormat since its sale. Darker fantasy scenes showing a disillusioned Kermit the Frog smoking and drinking may turn off Disney from ever making the movie. So why did the writer put all that time and effort into writing a screenplay where it was a million-to-one shot of it ever getting sold, much less turned into a movie ? "Even though I was just 10 when he died, Jim Henson had been this Walt Disney-like figure in my life, and I wanted to create a version of him as seen through these kind of rose-colored glasses," Weekes told the Times.

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