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If you loved what happened to the Muppets franchise thanks to the passion for the property shown by Jason Segel, then dance your cares away because you’re going to love what’s happening with another Jim Henson brand. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is heading down to let the music play by producing and starring in the Fraggle Rock movie that’s been in the works for years. And just like Segel, he’s a fan who wants to do the thing justice on the big screen.
“The first screen personas I ever loved were Henson creations, first on Sesame Street and then on Fraggle Rock,” Gordon-Levitt said in a statement to Variety. “Jim Henson’s characters make you laugh and sing, but they’re also layered, surprising, and wise. From Oscar the Grouch to Yoda to the Fraggles. I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man and on into adulthood. Collaborating with Lisa Henson makes me confident we can do something that Jim would have loved.”
Wait, you wonder, how is Gordon-Levitt going to be the star of a movie focused on puppet characters, including Fraggles, Doozers, Gorgs, Marjory the Trash Heap and even Sprocket the dog? Will he play Doc, the old man, previously portrayed by Gerard Parkes (who just died last fall, R.I.P.)? Or will he be a new young fellow who has moved into Doc’s old place? It doesn’t matter so long as he doesn’t dominate the thing the way Segel and Amy Adams were so prominent in The Muppets.
Just as Segel worked with his regular collaborator Nicholas Stoller, I’d like to see Gordon-Levitt bring his buddy Rian Johnson into this project. They could redo the time-travel plot of the episode “Mokey, Then and Now.” Regarding other creatives involved, we last heard Rango writer Jim Byrkit and actor Alex Manugian were taking care of the screenplay, but that was a few years ago. Also at one time members of the Scissor Sisters were involved to write new songs. Presumably, though, we’re looking at a whole new launch of the project and starting from scratch.
Watch Gordon-Levitt admitting his Muppet fandom to Kermit the Frog before hogging the screen with a fellow human in 2013’s Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular. And below that see him with Murray the monster on Sesame Street.