As reported earlier, The Jim Henson Company is working with Walden Media and Fox 2000 to produce The Doubtful Guest. The live-action film, which is based on the classic story by writer/illustrator Edward Gorey, will be directed Brad Peyton with the script written by Matthew Huffman.
The Doubtful Guest will be produced by Lisa Henson, Brian Henson and Jason Lust; and the film will be released by 20th Century Fox and Walden Media through their "Fox Walden" arm. No release date has been set at this point, but production is expected to start later this year.
Originally published in 1957, the whimsical story revolves around a mysterious and mischievous creature that arrives unannounced and unwelcome at a family-owned bed & breakfast. However this guest wreaks havoc and brings nothing but trouble with him.
Known for his gothic flair, the work of Edward Gorey has shown a heavy influence in the work of many top Hollywood productions – including Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Corpse Bride" among others. However Gorey's own works has never been given the cinematic treatment until now. Gorey's unique style is known for the gaunt, bleak-eyed figures, gothic motifs and a somewhat morbid sense of humor.
Jim Henson's Creature Shop is currently working on the creature creation, aiming to faithfully translate Gorey's sketched look into animatronic design while giving him expression and the ability to be articulated as a character on screen.
Lisa Henson told reporters that, "It's hard to come up with a creature that you've never seen before in any medium, and he's a unique little creation who is very appealing without being cute or cloying."
The Doubtful Guest is just one of several films that the Jim Henson Company and Creature Shop are currently working on. I will keep you posted as details on this film, and the other Henson Company projects, surface.