Dance Your Hopes Away: Fraggle Rock Movie Not Happening Anytime Soon
The beloved muppet characters of Jim Henson's 1980s series Fraggle Rock entertained a generation of kids with their emphasis on friendship, their penchant for cooperation, and the subtle socialist messaging that made being part of the Fraggle Rock fandom so darn infectious... and strangely compulsive. And if those blue Commie Smurfs are getting their own big screen update, why not Red, Gobo, Boober and the gang?
Well, because the Weinsteins haven't moved on a proposed Fraggle Rock film adaptation in over a year, according to director Cory Edwards. In an explanation posted to his blog, Edwards explains that it all depends on the Weinstein Co., who have yet to make the next move to bring the fantasy live-action musical to fruition:
"Many, many, many of you have repeatedly asked for some kind of update on the Fraggle Rock movie. The truth is, I got nothin'. There's nothing to report except that The Weinstein Company has everything they need to move forward, and the ball is in their court. They've talked about getting a new writer, which I'm willing to do. They've talked about starting over from scratch, which I'm willing to do. But I have not heard a peep from their camp in almost a year."
Edwards first worked with the Weinsteins when they released his animated feature Hoodwinked! in 2005, a modest financial success. A sequel, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, hits theaters in April. And while he promises he's got other, non-Fraggle Rock projects cooking, Edwards points out that in some cases, not making a movie is better than making a terrible movie -- especially with so much fan investment at stake. "I completely sympathize with all of you that are waiting for a movie, but let's all remember that the next best thing to making a Fraggle movie is avoiding making a BAD ONE," he rationalized. "So at least we're doing that."
Which brings us back to the Fraggles' rival industrious creatures of the '80s: The Smurfs. Following the trend of combining 3D animation with live-action, Raja Gosnell's upcoming The Smurfs runs the very risk that Edwards addresses above, potentially bastardizing a much-beloved property by cranking it through the contemporary studio blockbuster machine. (In fairness, our fingers are crossed that The Smurfs turns out to be wonderfully, amazingly smurfy.)
The delay also gives the filmmakers time to let The Smurfs test the box office waters; will contemporary kids go for an update of the cutesy retro creatures of their parents' generation? Can Jason Segel's Muppet movie re-open the door for felted vs. computer generated characters? And how many children of the '80s will clamor to see a Fraggle Rock movie, anyway?
Then again, even Boober's yucky batch of gumbo was good for something...