After her umpteenth sexy romantic comedy crime caper, One for the Money, opened to mixed reviews last week, perpetually mocked film star Katherine Heigl evidently decided it was due time for a career change. With this in mind, Heigl has just signed on to two new, exciting projects that depart from her usual fare: an indie about a psychologist "struck with a rare affliction that makes it impossible to distinguish people by their faces," and a "puppet murder thriller" about a hardened private eye who attempts to solve a string of Hollywood puppet murders.
The Happytime Murders will be directed by Brian Henson, son of Sesame Street creator Jim Henson and director of such puppet-related film staples as A Muppet Christmas Carol. Based on a script by Todd Berger, Happytime Murders is set in a world where people and puppets co-exist, although puppets are relegated to second-class citizen status (social commentary!) When the former cast members of an '80s puppet TV show are mysteriously killed off one by one, it's up to a "disgraced detective turned private-eye puppet" to save the day by solving the case.
It's unclear whether Heigl will star in human or felt form in the movie, which sounds like a cross between Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Muppet Movie (except, you know, for the "instant classic" part). Still, one thing is certain from Heigl's recent surprising project choices: the girl is tired of being a critically lambasted, fat paycheck-wielding, Vulture punchline, so we should all support her recent decision to break out of her comfort zone a little bit. I'd suggest a reunion of the classic 1996 Disney TV movie Wish Upon a Star, in which popular, snooty Katherine Heigl and her less popular younger sister switch bodies, but that's probably just because I'm an unapologetically nostalgic '90s kid/idiot.
(By the way, that whole movie's up on YouTube. I'm just saying).