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Jim Henson died in 1990 at the age of 53. Both Smith and Daniles would be older than Jim was. And the film is covering his whole life, not just the last few years. You need someone in their 20s or 30s, as a lot of the film will likely cover the events of the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and early '80s. It is easier for them to have the actor "age up" for the last act of the film rather than try to have someone convincinly "age down" for the bulk of the film.
Somewhat unfortantly, the iconic vision of Jim that most of us know is from when he was in his late 40s and early 50s (the mid-1980s to 1990). It wasn't until the later years, towards the end of "Fraggle Rock", that Jim really started to be seen by the public (with appearances on award shows, talk shows, in magazines, and whatnot; plus a lot of the documentaries, interviews and productions such as "The Jim Henson Hour"). Before that (1955-1980) the number of images of Jim is lower - most images and footage of Jim are from the later years, once he really was a big celebrity and house hold name.
You need someone in their 20s or 30s, as a lot of the film will likely cover the events of the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and early '80s. It is easier for them to have the actor "age up" for the last act of the film rather than try to have someone convincinly "age down" for the bulk of the film.
It depends what aspect they go for in the film i think (not that there will likely be a film, or at least the one the fans are visualizing). If its truly a story of his life then sure, but if it did happen to get made and ended up as some TV movie, then the company doesn't have the best reputation - they might well get as fast as they can to the 80's era when whatever minor amount of "juicy stuff" did happen in his private life. Perhaps it might have been wise to have pointed out originally that this is all unconnected to Disney and Henson, as some people seem to be seeing this as some big official theatrical blockbuster and getting the wrong idea.
Okay, so we have Jim and Richard, and probably Frank Oz, but what about Karen Prell, Kathryn Mullen, Jane Henson, and the Henson kids? I have a good one for Jane Henson: Lena Headey from 300 and The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
With as surly as Frank tends to be about the Muppets, I can't see him going anywhere near this, let alone even endorsing it. I, on the other hand, think is the most exciting news I've heard in a long time. I'd like to maybe see Jon Landau do it
But the truth is, although 30 million is a fairly healthy budget for a non-summer blockbuster, I wouldn't expect to see A-listers playing the parts.....we'll get a sort of big name for Henson and maybe even Frank Oz and Jane, but the rest will be actors for hire.....good, solid actors that we've probably seen before, but essentially "no-names" that don't make it on the marquee.
But I reiterate again: If this is what it sounds like, I'm incredibly excited!
I still say I'm warey of this. Especially since it seems to be a TV film. Either we'll get an unrealistic sunny happy performance, or we'll get one where every tiny ounce of darkness is over exaggerated to make it a shock film. I did like a lot of what went down in the Mork and Mindy telefilm and I felt the Three Stooges telefilm was excellent, but other than that, they seem to be tear jerker scandal heavy half truths.
Now, I don;t have too much doubt that this will be a good film. But I want to see what focus will be taken from Henson's life. And personally, I'd rather see a documentary, much like the Charles Shulz PBS American Masters one. That was breathtakingly well done, IMO. Much higher quality than a run of the mill documentary.