Elizabeth Banks Joins STX's Puppet Comedy 'Happytime Murders'

Elizabeth Banks - 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party - Getty - H 2017
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Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph are also starring in the Brian Henson film.

Elizabeth Banks has joined the cast of STXfilms' puppet comedy The Happytime Murders.

The Hunger Games actress joins Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph in the project, which is being directed by Brian Henson.

The Happytime Murders takes place in the underbelly of Los Angeles, where humans and puppets coexist but puppets are viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet castmembers of a beloved 1980s children's TV show begin turning up dead, two clashing detectives — one human and the other a puppet — are forced to work together to solve the mystery.

In the pic, McCarthy portrays lead detective Connie Edwards opposite longtime Henson puppeteer Bill Barretta, who performs as Phil Phillips, the puppet detective. Banks plays Jenny, a burlesque dancer, and Rudolph plays Bubbles, Phil’s secretary.

Henson is producing for The Jim Henson Company’s Henson Alternative with McCarthy and Ben Falcone, for On the Day Productions, and Jeffrey Hayes. Lisa Henson, Dee Robertson and John W. Hyde serve as executive producers. Todd Berger and Dee Robertson wrote the initial drafts, with the latest draft by Erich and Jon Hoeber, and McCarthy. The film began production in Los Angeles earlier this week, and will be released on Aug. 17, 2018.

Banks — who is an Emmy winner for her appearances on 30 Rock and Modern Family — will next be seen in the Universal threequel Pitch Perfect 3, which she also produced. She is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.