With production now underway on STX film, The Happytime Murders, Pitch Perfect’s Elizabeth Banks has joined Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph on the cast for the dark comedy.

Chairman of the Jim Henson Company, Brian Henson takes the helm on the film which focuses on two clashing detectives, one human and the other a puppet, who are forced to work together to find the killer who’s murdering the former cast of “The Happytime Gang,” a classic puppet show.

A full synopsis reads; 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.

The Happytime Murders

Melissa McCarthy is to play the lead detective opposite long time Henson puppeteer Bill Barretta who performs Phil Phillips, the puppet detective. Elizabeth Banks will take on the role of a burlesque dancer named Jenny and Maya Rudolph plays Bubbles, Phil’s secretary.

McCarthy is producing alongside her partner Ben Falcone, as well as Brian Henson and Jeffrey Hayes. Executive producers are Lisa Henson, Dee Robertson, and John W. Hyde.

Banks will be returning yet again to Pitch Perfect 3, which is due for the UK release just before Christmas on December 22.

The Happytime Murders is due for an August 17, 2018, release.