Lionsgate have acquired Happytime Murders, a puppet film from writer Todd Berger.

Set to be directed by Brian Hension, Happytime Murders has been in development since 2008 at the Jim Henson Company and has been described by THR as “a dark and adult story featuring puppets.”

Happytime Murders focuses on a world where humans and puppets co-exist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show called The Happytime Gang begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case with his former human partner.

Happytime Murders will be produced by Brian Henson and his sister, Lisa.

Production is expected to commence as early as January next year, as long as a suitable cast can be assembled beforehand.