Brian Henson, son of “The Muppets” creator Jim Henson, continued his father’s legacy and created “The Happytime Murders,” an R-rated puppet film that is unlike anything you have seen before.
“It feels really fresh to me right now, at a time when everyone’s making, not ever sequels anymore, now they’re all making remakes,” he stated. “I suddenly feel really old. All my favorite movies from when I was a young adult are now being remade. It just feels like there are rarely very original films and this is a very, very original movie.”
“The Happytime Murders” has been in the works for a long time and a lot of rewriting has taken place in the ten years since its initial inception. There were also a few opportunities to make it earlier on, but Henson said that it would have had to be made with less money, and he didn’t want it to be low-budget. He finally got the courage to pull the trigger on the film, after the success of his risqué puppet show “Puppet Up!”
He ended up incorporating improvisation into the movie instead of just relying on a script — which was a deviation from the traditional Henson style. He also made it a point to not rely too heavily on CGI.
“I love puppetry, I love the reality of a performer working through a puppet,” he explained. “The tough thing about working with CGI is that you work real hard to make it convincing, and once it’s convincing then you have to make it look like it was spontaneous.”