Ron Howard is teaming with Disney Original Documentary to direct a feature film about Jim Henson and his career developing “The Muppets.”
The untitled film is being produced with the full participation and cooperation of the Henson family and will feature never-before-seen personal archives, performances with his early puppets from when Henson was a teenager and explore the worldwide success of “The Muppets,” “Sesame Street” and more.
Howard is directing and producing the film, which will also be produced by Brian Grazer, Margaret Bodde (“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”) and Imagine Documentaries’ Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes are producing the film for Disney Branded Television under the Disney Original Documentary banner.
The film will be executive produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Michael Rosenberg and Disney Original Documentary’s Marjon Javadi. Mark Monroe will serve as writer/producer and Paul Crowder will edit and executive produce, both of whom Howard worked with on his docs “Pavarotti” and “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.”
“The Jim Henson Company’s archive is a treasure reflecting our father’s work, personal life and inspirations, and has been carefully maintained for the last 30 years under the leadership of archivist Karen Falk,” Henson’s family said. “It will be thrilling to see the story that emerges from these materials in the hands of a truly great filmmaker like Ron Howard, who has the perfect spirit and personality to tell Jim Henson’s story.”
“Jim Henson transcends generations through his iconic characters, and it’s one of the many reasons why I have been a lifelong fan,” Howard said. “I can’t wait to share a side of him and his career that people have never seen before. Henson’s limitless imagination and restless creativity is like few others and has influenced so much of our world as we know it. I’m humbled to be able to share a deeper look into his life and story.”
“Jim Henson has impacted our culture for generations, and his creative legacy continues to live on,” said Disney Original Documentary vice president Marjon Javadi. “As iconic storytellers in their own right, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes are the best auteurs to share Jim Henson’s story with the world. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the team at Imagine Documentaries and the Henson family on this undoubtedly inspirational film.”
The Disney Original Documentary banner will largely produce and acquire content for Disney+ with more announcements coming soon.
Deadline first reported the news.