BREAKING: The first three images of the Gelflings from Netflix's upcoming 10-episode series, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" was released back on December 17th (the 36th Anniversary of "The Dark Crystal"). (Check them out above our Poll Question) We have two questions pertaining to them on our NEW MuppetsHenson Poll. Please vote now ! The Poll can be found near the top of the right sidebar.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A NEW Reimagined Version of 'Jim Henson's The Storyteller’ by Neil Gaiman, The Jim Henson Company & Fremantle Being Developed for Television

Jim Henson’s iconic 80s anthology series The Storyteller is eyeing a comeback. Fremantle has teamed with The Jim Henson Company and author/TV writer-producer Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Good Omens) to develop a reimagined version of The Storyteller for television.

Inspired by his daughter Lisa’s university studies in folklore and mythology, Jim Henson created the original version of The Storyteller in 1987 and directed multiple episodes, with Oscar winner Anthony Minghella writing all the episodes. The Emmy and BAFTA-winning live-action TV series featured creatures by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in a re-telling of various European folk tales, with a mysterious elfin storyteller (played by John Hurt). The world of The Storyteller was inhabited by various mystical and magical characters – heartless giants, enchanted beggars, white lions and human hedgehogs – exploring themes such as fear, desire, death and destiny, and challenging notions about good and evil.

In the new incarnation, written and executive produced by Gaiman, The Storyteller will create a mystical world combining various fairy tales and folklore. It will be updated to work “for the binging kind” of viewer of today, Gaiman said.

“Part of what fascinates me about The Storyteller is the stuff that we don’t know.,” he said. “Who was the Storyteller, why was he telling these stories, was he a goblin, what kind of creature? What I’d love to do is an inside story that’s as long as the outside story. We’re going to find out a lot about who the storyteller is, we’re going to find out things we don’t even know that we don’t know. We’re going to begin in a Northern kingdom where stories are forbidden and where the act of telling a story is liable and can get you imprisoned or executed. If you put a storyteller into that situation, things would need to start getting interactive.”

Gaiman is well-known for his work in popularizing and reinterpreting folklore and mythology, from the mythological basis of his best-selling novel American Gods to the African folklore of Anansi Boys to authentic collections like his recent Norse Mythology book.

“The Storyteller has always been a special project for me, having worked so closely with my dad on the original concept,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company (pictured with her dad, Jim Henson, at her graduation from Harvard University, which she finished as summa cum laude with a degree in ancient Greek and folklore mythology). “Neil Gaiman is an expert in traditional folklore and mythology, in addition to himself being the modern ‘storyteller’ for our times. I feel like if Neil were an actor, he’d have to play (the Storyteller) because he embodies what the storyteller is, a skillful wordsmith who can entertain people with the power of the story itself, and not to mention he also memorizes it all in his head.”

Lisa Henson has known about Gaiman’s love of The Storytellersince their first meeting in 1991 when she worked at Warner Bros. Over the years, the two bonded over their deep knowledge of folklore mythology.

“The original Storyteller was a brilliantly written, directed and told set of stories. It’s a terrifying and inspiring task to reinvent what Jim Henson did for the golden age of television we are in right now, and I’m honored that The Jim Henson Company would entrust me with the task of bringing back the storyteller and his magical stories, and sending him out into the world for a whole new round of tales,” Gaiman said.

Gaiman and Henson would not say which fairytales they are planning to tackle. “We have our eye on lots of them and one of the things that was brilliant (about The Storyteller) was, they would take little known versions of well-known fairytales because every story comes in various different versions, and I think that’s definitely something that I would love to keep going,” Gaiman said.

Added Henson, “it gives the story the feeling of familiarity, but it’s also very different.”
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While Minghella and Hurt have passed away, Gaiman and Henson would love to have some creative auspices from the original series back for the revival.

“We would love to have John Hurt as our Storyteller, but alas, he’s no longer with us. But absolutely the actors from the original Storyteller series, bringing them back would be a marvelous thing to do, and we really did have the cream of the crop,” Gaiman said.

Henson indicated that the producers will be using the same out-of-the-box approach to hiring directors that was used on the original series. She noted the stint on the 80s show of Steve Barron whose background had been primarily in music videos. “He was shooting in a very non-linear way like music videos with impactful imagery as opposed to conventional shooting,” she said. “I think that we’re looking to do the same thing here, work with the directors who can do the most innovative work with puppetry technologies to marry it up in that truly innovative modern way with word crafting.”

Fremantle’s collaboration with Gaiman on The Storyteller grew out of the company’s relationship with the writer-producer who is behind Fremantle’s American Gods, now in post-production on Season 2 for Starz, and had a development deal there.

“There is currently nothing like The Storyteller in the television landscape and the themes these stories will explore are even more critically important today,” said Dante Di Loreto, President of Scripted Entertainment, Fremantle, North America. “It’s a real joy to work with Lisa and The Henson company to bring their esteemed property back to television, and to be yet again partnering with Neil on another project that will further showcase his brilliant narrative power.”

As to what kind of networks and platforms Fremantle plans to target, “what we’re interested in doing is making sure it reaches the broadest audience possible, that’s really the key for us,” Di Loreto said.

While The Storyteller is a 30-year-old series, the current younger generation may be familiar with the franchise via The Storytellergraphic novels The Jim Henson Company has been publishing in partnership with Boom Studios over the past couple of years.

The Storyteller will be produced by Fremantle, part of RTL Group, in association with The Jim Henson Company, with Lisa Henson serving as executive producer and Blanca Lista as co-executive producer. Gaiman will also serve as executive producer. He also executive produces Fremantle’s Gormenghast, an episodic series in the works based on the fantasy book series by Mervyn Peake.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Funko Pop! Jim Henson Figure(s) Coming Soon

Funko Pop! will be releasing a Jim Henson figure. In fact, there will be two versions. 

The first will be Jim Henson with Kermit
and the second is Jim Henson with Ernie. This one will be a Target exclusive.

More on when they will be available soon!

Thursday, January 03, 2019

What Could the Muppets Big Surprise Be? by Michael Wermuth, Jr.

Kermit chats to KCAL9
Recently, Kermit the Frog said in an interview that the Muppets have a big surprise in store for 2019. We don’t know what it is yet, but it seems exciting. But what could it be? I’ve been thinking about what all it could be, why I think it couldn’t be certain things, and some really out there possibilities that it’s probably not. 

A New Series 
Considering The Muppets 2015-2016 series was recently canceled, I’d be really surprised if it was a new television series. However, I feel like, if it was a series, it’d have to be a television series to be a real surprise. I’ve seen talk of a potential Muppet series coming to the new Disney streaming site, but I’m honestly not sure if that’s been officially announced, hinted at by those who would know, or just rumored. I don’t think a new web series would be that big a deal, either (unless it’s the remaining unreleased Pigs in Space shorts). 

A New Movie 
This would be a real surprise at the moment. After Muppets Most Wanted underperformed at the box office, it seemed we’d be waiting a while for a new Muppet film (though I’ve seen interviews from people at Disney who refered to the movie’s box office as “fair”, not an exact flop), but I think enough time has passed. 

And to think, if it is a new movie, then Matt Vogel’s career as Kermit would parallel Steve Whitmire’s, since Whitmire’s first movie as Kermit came two years after getting the role, and Vogel’s first film as Kermit could be close to that. 

More Theme Park Presence 
Maybe the Muppets will have a bigger presence at Walt Disney World or Disneyland (or one of the international parks). Maybe Muppet Courtyard will be expanded. Maybe there’ll be a new attraction. Maybe there’ll be a new 3D film. 

A New Live Stage Show
If this “big announcement” came in 2016 or 2017, then a new live stage show would be a big surprise. But we’ve had two major live stage shows with the Muppets in the last two years (and a few similar live performances), so it won’t be that big a deal. 

It wouldn’t be that big a deal, that is, unless it was a live tour, bringing the Muppets to several parts of the United States to do the live show, with maybe some differences here and there. 

The Long-Awaited Release of The Muppet Show: Season Four on DVD (or other formats) 
Fans have been waiting since 2008 for season four to come to DVD, it was announced in 2009 for a 2010 release and it continues to be unavailable. While the hardcore fans (those reading websites like ToughPigs, The Muppet Mindset, Muppet Central, and this blog, those who edit Muppet Wiki, those who are tired of “Rainbow Connection”) would likely see an official video release of any pre-2004 (and maybe some post-2004) productions that Disney hasn’t put out on DVD, season four of The Muppet Show (and maybe the 2015 series) is perhaps the one thing that would feel like really big news to the casual fans out there, something that would warrant having Kermit the Frog announce. 

Convention Appearances by Muppet Performers
In the past year, both Steve Whitmire and Caroll Spinney have been making public appearances at conventions (in fact I got to meet Whitmire recently at Louisville Supercon), but wouldn’t it be an awesome surprise if Disney had some of its current core Muppet performers appearing at conventions to meet fans? 

And there’s a number of great things I have thought about that I really seriously doubt it will be, but then again, since I honestly don’t expect any of these, that would make it a BIG surprise: 

Frank Oz returning to perform in an upcoming Muppet production

Steve Whitmire coming back to perform the Muppets 

The long-awaited second Muppetfest  

Disney buying Sesame Street and/or The Jim Henson Company (but I would expect that kind of news to be public by now) 

But whatever the big news is, it’ll surely be great news. Then again, if the news isn’t all that great, then it will be a big surprise.

Michael Wermuth, Jr.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Netflix Announces Voice Cast and First Look Images of "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"

Netflix has unveiled the voice cast and three images for "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance", its forthcoming 10-episode prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 film. Among the major names boarding the high-profile project (which bows in 2019): Star Wars‘ Mark Hamill,

Outlander‘s Caitriona Balfe, Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Andy Samberg and Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer.

The primary cast, meanwhile, consists of Taron Egerton (Kingsman), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), and Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), as Rian, Brea and Deet, the three Gelfling heroes which we also got a glimpse of today.

The rest of the voice cast for "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" 

Gelfling Characters (in addition to Balfe and Domer)

Helena Bonham-Carter, Harris Dickinson, Eddie Izzard, Theo James , Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong
and Alicia Vikander.

The Skeksis & Mystics (in addition to Hamill and Samberg)

Harvey Fierstein, Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Key, ├ôlafur Darri ├ôlafsson and Simon Pegg.

Donna Kimball was cast as Aughra 

Additional characters will also be voiced by puppeteers from the production, including Alice Dinnean, Louise Gold, Neil Sterenberg and Victor Yerrid.

As previously reported, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" will take place “many years” before the events of the film. “When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.”

Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) will executive produce and direct.

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects,” Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix, previously said in a statement. “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is NOW UP! - "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" - First Look Photos

NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is now up for your votes!

This week's question once again deals with The Jim Henson Company's "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" airing on Netflix in 2019.  

Here is this week's question:

On December 17th, 2018 (the 36th Anniversary of "The Dark Crystal") we were treated to three images of the Gelflings from the upcoming Netflix series, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance". Question 1: How do you think they look and Question 2: Which one do you like the most?   

Let us know what you think. You can find the MuppetsHenson Poll near the TOP of the RIGHT SIDEBAR. 

Thanks for your participation!

MuppetsHenson Polls FINAL RESULTS: - "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being most interested) how interested are you in seeing Netflix's upcoming 10 episode series, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"? Also, just like in the original film, are you happy that they are using all puppets and no CGI characters?
47% (139)
3% (8)
0% (0)
0% (1)
0% (0)
YES - very happy they are using ALL puppets 49% (144)
NO - would rather a combination of puppets and CGI 1% (3)
NO - would rather ALL CGI characters 0% (0)
Total votes: 295   Voters: 160