Melissa McCarthy is set to star in The Happytime Murders, an edgy puppet comedy from STX.
She will also produce via her On the Day Productions banner, along with husband Ben Falcone.
Brian Henson is on board to direct what is being billed as an action comedy, which The Jim Henson Co. has been trying to put together since 2008 through its Henson Alternative banner. STX picked up the project in summer 2015.
The Happytime Murders takes place in a world where humans and puppets coexist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet castmembers of 1980s children’s TV show The Happytime Gang begin turning up dead, an alcoholic, disgraced LAPD detective turned private-eye puppet takes the case with his former human partner.
“When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true,” McCarthy said Tuesday in a statement.
Todd Berger and Dee Robertson wrote the initial drafts, with the latest draft by Red 2 scripters Erich and Jon Hoeber. McCarthy will make further revisions on the project.
Henson and Jeffrey Hayes are set to produce alongside McCarthy and Falcone. Lisa Henson and John W. Hyde will executive produce.
McCarthy remains one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses since her breakout role in 2011’s Bridesmaids and has steadily become more involved in her projects as a producer. She is next set for college comedy Life of the Party and Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?
McCarthy is repped by CAA and MGMT.