‘The Muppet Man’ script takes a gonzo approach to Jim Henson’s life


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At Company Town, our sister blog on the business of show business, Stephen Zeitchik has an interesting report on a screenwriter named Christopher Weekes, whose script for a odd bio-pic called “The Muppet Man” was just named the best unproduced script in Hollywood by the tastemakers who compile the Black List rankings. Here’s an excerpt...

The Muppet Man,” which takes an almost fairy-tale view of the romance between the late Jim Henson and his longtime wife Jane, faces a far tougher climb.

Weekes was discovered by managers Britton Rizzio and Kelly McCormack after they had seen an indie movie of his at a film festival in 2008. They soon found he had written, entirely on spec, a script about one of the most enigmatic and private of contemporary artists without having ever met or even read much about him (there exists no major published biography about Henson).


Instead, Weeks conjured the story mostly out of his imagination, basing it on a series of photos he’d studied and whatever strands of information he could find on things like Wikipedia. “Even though I was just 10 when he died, Jim Henson had been this Walt Disney-like figure in my life, and I wanted to create a version of him as seen through these kind of rose-colored glasses,” Weekes said Friday from Australia.

As whimsical as the script is said to be (it also folded into the narrative invented particulars of the romance between Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, including a depiction of a hungover Kermit heartbroken by Miss Piggy’s impending marriage to another beau), it also wanders into a legal and creative thicket...


-- Stephen Zeitchik

And, for you Muppets fans (and do you know anyone who isn’t a Muppets fan?) here’s a rhapsodic revision of some classic Queen...

Photo: Henson and ham. Credit: Alan Greth / Associated Press