DEVELOPMENT HELL

Henson Biopic Top Unmade Film

A true-life romance story featuring the late puppeteer Jim Henson and his wife Jane may not sound like instant box-office gold, but a script by Christopher Weekes is generating buzz in the entertainment world. Weekes' script this week topped the Black List, a ranking of Hollywood's top unproduced scripts that has in the past given momentum to promising works. Unfortunately, The Muppet Man has run into numerous problems due to copyright and production issues. Weekes wrote it without approval from the Henson family and when he turned to Jim Henson Co. to produce it ("the only place it could go," according to his manager), the company wanted major changes out of fears that the film's dark themes of heartbreak and despair might be too intense. Still, interest is high and the LA Times reports that stars including Jim Carrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Hugh Jackman have expressed interest in the Henson role.