The Happytime Murders Trailer, Release Date, Cast and News

Melissa McCarthy and her partner begin a mystery that dares to bare all the stuffing in The Happytime Murders. Find out how...

Just when you thought you had seen every single variance of buddy cop adventure, here comes one you never could have anticipated: a puppet crime noir. Yeppers, The Happytime Murders is a wickedly high-concept film in the vein of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, in which puppets and humans interact as seamlessly as they do any Muppet film… save the puppets in this are getting murdered by a serial killer. It’s Chinatown meets A Muppet Christmas Carol, which is likely why Brian Henson–the director of A Muppet Christmas Carol–is helming this one himself. Here’s what you need to know.

The Happytime Murders Trailer

Here is the very, very NSFW Happytime Murders red band trailer. We’re serious, do not watch this at work (or a public coffee shop for that matter). We warned you…

The Happytime Murders Release Date

The Happytime Murders has moved from its original Aug. 17 release date to Aug. 24. So an extra week before the strings come off.

The Happtyime Murders Cast

The film is directed by Jim Henson Company stalwart Brian Henson, who previously directed The Muppet Christmas Carol andMuppet Treasure Island, as well as various television projects. So it’s clear he is a man who has his hand on the pulse of what audiences want out of puppet entertainment. But its human cast is also absolutely stacked with fleshy talent too.

Obviously, the lead role is Melissa McCarthy as Det. Edwards, a character described as “type-A” and one with a secret. The film also features Elizabeth Banks as Jenny, a burlesque dancer and Phil’s ex-lover. Maya Rudolph has been cast as Bubbles, Phil’s secretary, while Joel McHale will play a stern FBI officer also investigating the case.

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The Happytime Murders Story

Selling the concept better than any synopsis, Melissa McCarthy gave this statement about the film: “When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly, and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true.”

But if you’re still not sold, here is the official synopsis for the movie:

In a world where puppets and humans live side-by-side the puppet stars of the iconic TV show The Happytime Gang are some of the biggest celebrities around. But off camera, the family-friendly cast leads the kinds of lives that would make a tabloid writer blush. When the stars of “The Happytime Gang” are mysteriously murdered, two mismatched detectives – one a type-A, take-no-prisoners human with a secret, and the other a crass, hard-drinking puppet with a connection to one of the victims – must put aside their huge differences to stop the killings and catch the culprit, while resisting the temptation to murder each other.

From further casting information though, we can deduce that the plot of this “comedy noir” to be more specifically focused on a puppet private eye and disgraced cop named Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta), a gumshoe investigating the murder of his brother. He soon learns the killer is operating deep in the felt-underbelly of LA and is also knocking off cast members of The Happytime Gang family show from the 1980s. Worse still, the mysterious murderer is also targeting Phil’s ex-girlfriend, Jenny (Elizabeth Banks). So Phil will need to team with his ex-partrner on the force, Det. Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) to bring the fiend to justice.

David Crow is the film editor at Den of Geek and a member of the Online Film Critics Society. Read more of his work here. You can follow him on Twitter @DCrowsNest.