The film is being produced by STX Entertainment and reunites Rudolph with her “Bridesmaids” co-star, Melissa McCarthy.
“The Happytime Murders” combines puppetry with living actors, in the style of The Muppets. The film is, in fact, a collaboration with The Jim Henson Company. It is a murder mystery in which the puppet cast members of a cancelled 80s show “The Happytime Gang” begin turning up dead. A disgraced former LAPD detective takes up the case.
The film will be directed by Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson. He has directed and produced a number of Muppet properties, including “Muppet Treasure Island” and “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”
Maya Rudolph has been acting in films and television since the late 1990s. But it was her work on “Saturday Night Live” that ultimately launched her career. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Guest Actor on the show in 2012. Rudolph recently appeared on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” as Dionne Warwick. In addition, she has lent her voice to a number of animated films including “Angry Birds” and “The Emoji Movie.”
Melissa McCarthy was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “Bridesmaids.” She was nominated for a Golden Globe for the comedy “Spy.” She has also been nominated for eight Primetime Emmys, and is currently in competition for Outstanding Guest Actress for her instantly iconic impression of Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live.”
STX Entertainment has produced several recent titles including “Bad Moms” and “The Edge of Seventeen.” They are also distributing this fall’s “Molly’s Game.”
There is no word yet on other casting decisions. “The Happytime Murders” is scheduled for release on August 17, 2018.