A live-action film adaptation of Fraggle Rock has been in the works for the better part of a decade, but this week, we’ve seen some new (and positive) news from the project. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has reportedly signed on, not just to star, but also to produce the film – breathing new life into the lethargic Muppets.
Looks like it’s a labour of love for Gordon-Levitt, who shot to fame on Third Rock from the Sun and 10 Things I Hate About You, but has since made a name for himself as a director and screenwriter with projects like Don Jon. He tells Variety that he is “grateful and excited” to be working on the project.
The first screen personas I ever loved were Henson creations, first on ‘Sesame Street,’ and then on ‘Fraggle Rock’. 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.
It’s been more than 30 years since the musical Muppet series first hit our tv screens, introducing a generation of kids to the cave-dwelling Fraggles, the industrious Doozers and the furry, giant Gorgs.
Fraggle Rock: The Movie was first announced in 2005, with a pencilled-in date of 2009. Then, it entered the film equivalent of development hell, as deals expired, staff left, and puppeteer Jerry Nelson (Gobo Fraggle) died after filming The Muppets in 2011. The last major announcement from the project was when New Regency picked it up and debated whether to use puppets or CGI for the titular monsters, but today’s the first we’ve heard from the franchise for nearly five years. Happily, it seems to be good news, but we’re not holding our breaths.