Disney is in discussions with the Jim Henson company to develop a biopic about the creative wizard himself, entitled The Muppet Man. Vulture states that the executives at both companies are interested in Michael Gracey to direct the film – Gracey is a music video and commercial director, having previously directed that Evian ad with the rollerskating / dancing babies (personally I found that commercial just weird and rather random…but Disney must’ve liked it).
Christopher Weekes (who has previously written one produced screenplay – Bitter & Twisted) reportedly wrote the script without the rights to Henson or any of his characters, but it still managed to top 2009’s industry Black List, “the industry’s unofficial rundown of the best unproduced screenplays.” Vulture also writes that:
The Henson Company controls the life rights to Henson and his surviving ex-wife, Jane, while Disney bought the rights to the Muppets in 2004. Finally, the two sides seem to have stopped arguing over who should pull the strings and are collaborating on getting it made.
Which is great news, of course. I’m a huge fan of the colorful cast of characters Henson created, and I’m sure the man’s life would be a really interesting thing to see portrayed on-screen. Rather than being a straight-up biopic, The Muppet Man will seemingly incorporate elements of Henson’s creations in an imaginative way; apparently Weekes’s screenplay contains:
flights of fancy in which crucial moments in Henson’s life are played out by Muppets.
This sounds really intriguing – I have high hopes for both this and The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made.