A Jim Henson Documentary Is in the Works at Disney, With Ron Howard on Board to Direct

Film creators Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are reportedly working on a definitive portrait of Muppets creator Jim Henson for Disney Original Documentary.

Deadline broke the news this morning that Howard and Grazer’s Imagine Documentaries will be leading the project “with the full participation and cooperation of the Henson family,” and that the doc will “present a fascinating and intimate look at Jim’s illustrious career creating treasured characters and revolutionizing television and film. With never-before-seen personal archives, the film will give audiences an exciting first-person view into the life of one of the world’s most inspiring and iconoclastic creators through exclusive home movies, photographs, sketches and Henson’s personal diaries.”

Howard, whose previous credits include directing Solo: A Star Wars Story and the documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years, will direct the Henson feature.

“Jim Henson transcends generations through his iconic characters, and it’s one of the many reasons why I have been a lifelong fan,” he said in a statement. “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.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a Henson documentary with Disney. Just under a year ago, the company announced that a similar doc was in the works with Michael Mitnick (Vinyl) attached.

That project appears to have fizzled, but it’s great to hear that the Henson family is not only supportive of this feature but is also providing access to Henson’s archives, which they describe in a statement as “a treasure reflecting our father’s work, personal life and inspirations.” They also added that they are thrilled “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.”

The documentary will be distributed under the Disney Original Documentary banner, which has most of its projects come out via Disney+. No news yet, however, on when the doc will come out, or the distribution plan for the film.


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