Ron Howard Is Directing Disney's "Definitive" Jim Henson Documentary

The film has "the full participation and cooperation of the Henson family."

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 31, 2022

Last year, it was reported that a biopic on Jim Henson — the late, legendary creator of the Muppets — was in development at Disney. Now, the project has a director attached in Ron Howard.

Deadline reports that Howard and producer Brian Grazer will team with Disney Original Documentary to deliver what is said to be the "definitive portrait" of Henson.

The film, which has "the full participation and cooperation of the Henson family," is said to 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," the statement adds.

A title for the forthcoming documentary has yet to be revealed. The aforementioned 2021 report of the project's development pegged the title as Muppet Man, with writer Michael Mitnick (The Current WarThe Giver) attached. A release date and distributor for the project also have yet to be revealed.

"Jim Henson transcends generations through his iconic characters, and it's one of the many reasons why I have been a lifelong fan," Howard shared 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."

In a respective statement, the Henson family added, "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. 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."

Henson passed away in 1990 at age 53. Last year saw Frank Oz — the renowned puppeteer who helped Henson bring his beloved characters to life — share that Disney had not asked him to continue performing.

Latest Coverage