Two of the leading actresses from Paul Feig's Bridesmaids will be reuniting to help solve a most unusual crime. Melissa McCarthy is already part of the offbeat puppet comedy The Happytime Murders, and now it has been reported that Maya Rudolph will be joining her.
The long-gestating Happytime Murders has gained a level of notoriety, due to the amount of time the film has been in development. In the planning stages with the Jim Henson Company ever since 2008, it's only recently been fast-tracked for production. It was initially designed to be a parody of classic noir, with touches of L.A. Confidential and Pulp Fiction. The basic plot is reminiscent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, with the usual playful Henson touches, albeit with a more mature feel and rumors of an R-rating. The plot focuses on a world where puppets are alive and living among humans, albeit with some prejudices against them. A hard-boiled puppet detective and his human counterpart look to solve a string of murders that are targeting the cast of a popular children's show called "The Happytime Gang". McCarthy signed on as the human lead of the film earlier this year, and a confirmed release date for August 2018 was also recently announced.
As casting continues, Deadline reports that the comic actress will now be joined by a fellow star from Bridesmaids, as Maya Rudolph is also now part of the cast. While it has been previously suggested that McCarthy is playing the human partner to the puppet detective, the role which Rudolph is taking is not yet known. It could be friend or foe, and the possibility exists that Rudolph could be voicing a puppet as opposed to playing another human character. But no more further details exist at the moment, and even the names of the characters are not yet known.
The casting news is at least a sure sign that the project is definitely moving on after years in development hell. The director is Brian Henson (Muppet Treasure Island), who is also chairman of the Henson company and the son of the late, great Jim Henson himself. Over the years, the pre-production has bounced in and out of the limelight as both Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx were reportedly offered starring roles in the film, with all plans subsequently leading to nothing. But with the schedule now moving forward, it looks like that release date is still on the cards.
The first time McCarthy and Rudolph were in the same film (Bridesmaids), it ended up grossing a very large $288m worldwide. They will also be seen together prior to this excursion in McCarthy and Ben Falcone's comedy Life Of The Party, which is due for release in May 2018. Whatever roles they take in The Happytime Murders, hopefully their previous cinema history will bode well and some of the success can be passed over to this promisingly offbeat movie.
- The Happytime Murders (2018) release date: Aug 24, 2018