Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Seth Rogen, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Dave Franco And More Join James Franco’s 'Zeroville' Seth Rogen, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Dave Franco And More Join James Franco’s 'Zeroville' 10 Great Self-Absorbed, Narcissistic Movie Assholes 10 Great Self-Absorbed, Narcissistic Movie Assholes Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Watch: Say Goodbye To 'Boardwalk Empire' With 30-Minute Doc 'The Final Shot' With Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, More Watch: Say Goodbye To 'Boardwalk Empire' With 30-Minute Doc 'The Final Shot' With Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, More Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

'Rango' Collaborators Jim Byrkit & Alex Manugian Hired To Write Long-Developing 'Fraggle Rock' Movie

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist May 31, 2012 at 10:57AM

After years spent in development purgatory (everyone from Ahmet Zappa to "Hoodwinked" writer/director Cory Edwards have worked on the project, from as far back as 2006), it finally looks like the "Fraggle Rock" movie, based on the beloved Jim Henson series, will make it to the big screen. Last year New Regency got the project going again, and just yesterday the Hollywood Reporter revealed that a pair of screenwriters have been secured – Jim Byrkit and Alex Manugian, who both worked on last year's Oscar-winning animated western "Rango."
0
Fraggle Rock

After years spent in development purgatory (everyone from Ahmet Zappa to "Hoodwinked" writer/director Cory Edwards have worked on the project, from as far back as 2006), it finally looks like the "Fraggle Rock" movie, based on the beloved Jim Henson series, will make it to the big screen. Last year New Regency got the project going again, and just yesterday the Hollywood Reporter revealed that a pair of screenwriters have been secured – Jim Byrkit and Alex Manugian, who both worked on last year's Oscar-winning animated western "Rango."

Byrkit received a story credit on "Rango," alongside director Gore Verbinski and credited writer John Logan (he also worked as a storyboard artist for the film). In fact, Byrkit has done design work for Verbinski on all three of the filmmaker's 'Pirates of the Carribean' movies (and provided illustrations for Verbinski's big screen debut, "Mousehunt"). This year, he also wrote and directed an independent sci-fi film called "Fractalus" and, along with Manugian, recently sold a spec script to Disney called "Fleeced," which the Hollywood Reporter alluringly describes as "a sort of 'Ocean's 11' meets 'Jason and the Argonauts.'" (Yes please!) Manugian used to be an executive for Cartoon Network, and has done occasional voice work, most notably the Disney direct-to-video "Lion King 1 & ½" (a kind of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" where the events of the first "Lion King" are told through the perspective of oddball sidekicks Timon and Pumbaa) and, of course, "Rango."

As you might remember, Scissor Sisters members Jake Shears and Babydaddy were hired to work on the project last summer, but it's not clear if they're still in the mix at this point. But considering a new script is being commissioned, our guess is that the project is starting over from scratch, though we will say it was an inspired choice.

The original "Fraggle Rock" series aired from 1983 to 1987 on CBC Television in Canada (it was aired in the United States on HBO, back before the sexy vampires and neurotic gangsters took over the network). While extremely colorful and lively, the show was deeply personal to creator Henson, with the series hinging on a number of philosophical and existential concerns that were important to him – notably, the symbiosis of nature, importance of environmentalism, and spirituality of nonviolence and peaceful coexistence. Heady stuff for a show with a talking junk heap, but that was always Henson's MO – serious social issues wrapped up in a cuddly, easily accessible package.

While certainly not as well known as the flagship Muppets, "Fraggle Rock" has certainly attained a level of beloved importance, especially to those who initially watched the show. Looking back on it now, the storytelling is incredibly nuanced and sophisticated (with its "Inception"-like worlds on top of worlds), the character design work striking, and its general aura, with its hippie-dippy overtones, pleasurably puzzling.

It will be hard to strike that delicate tonal balance on a big-screen movie, but we're hoping that the addition of Byrkit and Manugian, who did such a bang-up job with the genuinely weird "Rango," is a step in the right direction. Down in Fraggle Rock. Plop.  

This article is related to: Fraggle Rock, Scissor Sisters, Gore Verbinski


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates