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Empire acquires rights to Jim Henson screenplay

What do you think of Empire acquiring the rights to the Henson screenplay?

  • The movie is a great idea. I hope that it gets produced.

    Votes: 44 46.8%
  • I'm concerned that it can be done well and will honor Jim.

    Votes: 26 27.7%
  • It's not worth doing if either Disney or Sesame don't support the movie.

    Votes: 15 16.0%
  • I don't want to see it. Hollywood will likely misrepresent Jim’s life.

    Votes: 9 9.6%

  • Total voters
    94

GelflingWaldo

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Empire Films has acquired the production and distribution rights to "Henson," an original screenplay by Robert D. Slane that chronicles the life and achievements of Jim Henson. Empire is planning to start production on the feature film this summer. A theatrical release for the film is currently slated for 2009.
 

EasyBeinGreen

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Jim Henson biopic in the works

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=41639

Empire Film Group, Inc. has acquired the motion picture production and distribution rights to Henson, an original screenplay by Robert D. Slane that chronicles the life and achievements of Muppets creator, Jim Henson. Empire has pegged the film for production in late summer with a $30 million budget to be funded through a consortium of international presales and co-production partners.

"This is a major project about an entertainer of legendary stature and worldwide acclaim," said Dean Hamilton-Bornstein, CEO of Empire Film Group. "The script is superb and should provide a terrific roadmap for a completed film that will satisfy both mainstream audiences and critics. We're very excited about this acquisition and the commercial caliber of this project."

Henson covers the life of puppeteer, filmmaker and entertainment mogul Jim Henson, from his early fascination with television as a teenager, through his spectacular career and life achievements. Empire anticipates hiring a major director, such as Penny Marshall, and hopes to attract notable star cast in key roles. Bornstein will act as Executive Producer, with Empire Home Entertainment President Eric Parkinson producing the film along with Xavier Mitchell.

"Jim Henson is one of the best known and most beloved entertainers of all time," said Parkinson. "His story is inspiring, tragic, heartwarming and epic, and will make for an important and entertaining motion picture. This is the sort of movie that Empire will be pursuing as we build the company into a leading independent studio."




So Exciting.... who could play Jim? I've always thought Jeff Daniels would make a good Jim Henson
 

MrsPepper

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WHAT? That is the craziest thing I have ever heard!

I wonder who will play Jim? And I wonder if they have talked to his family to see what they think. I say this only because of this line: "Empire is planning to hire a major "well-known" director for the project and hopes to attract a notable cast of stars as well." I'm not too sure if that is a good thing yet, but I won't pass judgement until we hear more.

Wow. Still not sure what to say. But it's definitely interesting news! It's a cool idea, and since apparently "the script is superb", I can't wait to hear more news.

2008 has been the craziest year for new Muppet news so far.
 

kermiegirl

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Oh my gosh! Are you really serious? I wonder who will play Jim Henson, his wife, children, and fellow puppeteers such as Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Steve Whitmire, etc. I think someone like Jeff Daniels or some major/minor actors like him could be Jim Henson; maybe they could be people who have been associated with the Muppets could star in it.
 

Luke

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Hmmmmm not sure what to say - it would be nice to have a film of Jim's life but often these people who've bought rights do hype up talk of it to get studios on board, like $30 Million Budget, All Star Cast, Theatrical etc etc. I'd be surprised to see that actually happen, possibly - but if it ends up as a lower budget direct to dvd - well, he deserves more than that! I can imagine the film, it could be good, his life wasn't all that traumatic though so i'd be interested how they would build up any tension or drama.

It must have been licensed from Henson Legacy so it's gonna be the candy coated version of his biography, but that surely would lead to stories of what he was really like behind the camera, and his death being sensationalized in the tabloids so they would be better off giving a balanced version of him. I'm mixed on this, the last time a biography was attempted (for Random House) the Hensons decided not to go ahead, as i said, could turn out to be a nice film, but might also drag up a lot of stuff that is maybe best left in the past.
 

frogboy4

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Well, it will have some sort of conflict as all films do. The question is how deeply they'll delve into his life. Honestly, I don't want to hear too many specifics of his marriage other than reported facts and the bond he shared with Mrs Henson through the end of his life.

I imagine there will be backround on his upbringing and mostly his endless pitching ideas, disappointment, successes, more disappointments, a bit on Disney (as it surrounded his last days) and likely some sort of memorial. Now, that's actually a lot. I would like to see his impact on television from a behind the scenes perspective. That is mainly what catches my interest. Still, I feel some might be too sanitized. We'll have to see. This is exciting.

I wonder if the writers strike helped get this already-penned script into the production phase or if that's totally unreleated?
 

Buck-Beaver

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Did anybody else notice that Empire's major credit to date is the Blonde and Blonder trilogy? (oh yes, they're planning a trilogy). Then again, New Line started out with Nightmare on Elm Street so I guess everybody has to start somewhere.

What I am curious about is whether or not they've secured the co-operation of Disney, Sesame Workshop and/or the Henson Company and Foundation. It would be really difficult to make a movie if they aren't able to use any of Jim's trademarked characters. I think you'd be cheating the audience and it wouldn't be possible to tell the story properly.

This should be interesting.
 

Luke

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What I am curious about is whether or not they've secured the co-operation of Disney, Sesame Workshop and/or the Henson Company and Foundation.
I'm also dubious on this story. They'd probably need Henson Legacy for his image rights, but then they still couldn't use the Muppets, Sesame, or even any of the character names without all the permissions. A $30 million big budget theatrical on Henson pitching puppet shows they can't talk about and dying from a "cold" - it's hardly Malcolm X is it? It all just sounds too, um, wierd. I'm all up for a nice film though! The original source for this is at http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=816910
 
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