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Optioned Properties

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Jim Henson Pictures has purchased many scripts and book rights over the years. Many have been announced, but few have made it to fruition or even went beyond the option stage.

The following projects were never developed far enough to qualify as an "unfinished project".

  • Astro Boy (1999)
A puppet version of the Japanese series.[1]
  • Borgel (1992)
Daniel Pinkwater book about a 110-year-old Jewish time-traveller and his dog who are on a quest to find The Great Popsicle.
Based on the 1938 children's book by Richard and Florence Atwater
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain (1996)
Based on the 1996 novel by William Kotzwinkle
  • Camping Out (1996)
A supernatural thriller
  • Dick King-Smith books (1996)
After the success of Babe in 1995, Henson Pictures optioned five more of author Dick King-Smith's books about animals: The Cuckoo Child, Daggie Dogfoot, George Speaks, Martin's Mice, and The Waterhorse. Walden Media and Columbia Pictures eventually gained the rights for The Waterhorse, releasing the picture in 2007.
  • Fish Tale (1996)
A story about five children who go on a fishing trip in the Mississippi to catch a fabled giant fish.
  • Miss Potter (1996)
An autobiographical film about the life of Beatrix Potter
  • Oh! The Places You'll Go! (1996)
A live-action version of the 1990 Dr. Seuss book
  • The Trouble with Angels (1996)
A remake of the 1966 Rosalind Russell/Hayley Mills film
  • Untitled Ricky Jay Project (1996)
JHP contracted with magician Ricky Jay, the star of a successful Broadway show, "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants," and author of the best-selling book Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.
  • The Dark is Rising (1997)
Based on the 1973 fantasy novel by Susan Cooper, about an 11-year old boy who discovers that he's part of a group of immortals dedicated to fighting the forces of evil.
  • The King of Elves (1997)
Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, a boy is asked by elves to fight against a troll king. Optioned by the Jim Henson Company, the rights expired. In 2008, the Walt Disney Company acquired it for an animated feature, but later shelved it.
  • Learning to Fly (1997)
A movie about a flock of ostriches who teach a chicken to fly.
  • Martian Holiday (1997)
A sci-fi romantic comedy about an alien who manipulates time to help a busy Earth couple fall in love
  • The Millers (1997)
A film about an All-American family who get bitten by a vampire.
  • Neverwhere (1997)
Based on the 1997 fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman (which was based on the BBC miniseries) about a man who becomes embroiled in the intrigues of London Below.
  • Miss Picket (1997)
A movie about a nanny who's endowed with special powers.
  • Switchers (1997)
An Irish children's novel by Kate Thompson, in which a boy and a girl who can change into animals fall in love while trying to save the world from destruction.
  • Valiant (1997)
A movie by Beakman's World producers Jim Dublin and Paul Zaloom about a secret society of nuclear-powered cars.
  • A Genius by Midnight (1998)
Based on the novel by Meg Wolitzer, a straight drama about the former stars of Mental Midgets (based on the Old-time radio series The Quiz Kids). The child geniuses, now adults, reunite when one member is murdered, using their collective intellects to find the culprit (only to suspect it's one of them).
  • Elbo Elf (2004)
A Christmas movie based on a children's book by Ralph Romano, the property was optioned in 2004, with Bill and Gene Barretta as screenwriters.[2] It was last known to be in active development in 2007, with Bill Barretta listed as director.
  • Fables (2004)
Optioned from the Vertigo graphic novel series about fairy tale and literary characters in the real world.
  • The Doubtful Guest (2007)
Based on illustrator Edward Gorey's book about a strange penguin-like visitor. The title was optioned and announced as a Jim Henson Pictures project, with the Creature Shop slated to provide effects. Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust were attached as producers, Brad Peyton as director, and Matthew Huffman as screenwriter.

Sources

  1. USA Today 7/20/09
  2. "Elbo Elf" press release. December 23, 2004

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