Jim Henson’s “Fraggle Rock” is coming to the big screen. The 1980s cult hit TV show is being developed by Ahmet Zappa — younger son of Frank Zappa — into a full-length live-action musical fantasy starring the classic characters.
“[Zappa] recently created his own fantasy property [‘Mighty McFearless’], and we had him in to talk about books and movies,” said Lisa Henson, who serves as co-CEO of the Jim Henson Co. with her brother, Brian. “During that conversation, I had an intuition that he might be a ‘Fraggle Rock’ fan. He jumped out of his seat when he heard our idea of making ‘Fraggle Rock’ into a feature-length movie.”
Zappa — a musician and TV personality who will serve as the project’s executive producer — is developing a treatment in which puppet stars Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red will travel from beneath the Rock and venture into the human world for the first time.
“The Fraggles didn’t really get into the human world on the series, so we plan to make the movie more about the intersection between the Fraggles and the humans,” Lisa Henson said.
Zappa is informally talking to musician friends about writing original songs for the movie. The original Henson puppets will be refurbished and updated for the film, with little expectation of computer-generated enhancements.
A release date has yet to be determined. Lisa Henson plans to hire a screenwriter and director once an initial treatment is completed. “We’re taking the movie as far as we can independently because the company has a big personal investment in how the movie turns out,” she said.
“Fraggle Rock” premiered on HBO in 1983 and over five seasons garnered multiple awards and a global fan following. The show was created by Jim Henson as an international co-production and was adapted for each territory to meet the needs of its audience.