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Muppet Newsflash: It might not be over!

I just wanted to note this here so all of you can judge before anyone adds it in the article. About a dozen news stories which have just popped up today talks of the Henson Company teaming with Spirit Music (which I've never heard of) to carry out the movie. The film's soundtrack is said to be provided by a band called the Scissor Sisters (never heard of them either; but from the look of their background alone, it's a tad disorienting, in my opinion). Here are some articles (mind you, none of which are official announcements from Henson) -- Jon (talk) 18:15, June 15, 2011 (UTC):

Yeah, the first two are pretty much the same article and mostly rehash suff and sound a bit like rumors. The third, which quotes someone from Spirit at the end, is the closest to a solid source, but yeah, not enough yet to change categories (be worth adding to the page if it sticks beyond rumor and/or is clearly getting a lot of fan attention and we'd need to clarify what's actually been said beyond the headlines; only that quote in the third link from the music company guy so far suggests this goes beyond the "We heard this is happening, and these guys worked with Henson puppets so it must be true" stage, and of course signing a composer isn't the same as getting out of development purgatory). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:39, June 15, 2011 (UTC)
Craig Shemin said at the Museum of the Moving Image during one of the panels (I don't remember which, but I think it was the one with Cheryl Henson) that they were looking for a new production company. Kenjiro (talk to the coin!) 03:06, October 25, 2011 (UTC)

Current Progress

Awhile ago somebody had contacted Corey Edwards and posted the personal correspondence in a Muppet Mindset article. This has a quote about current progress of the movie, stating that either nothing is moving forward, or Corey Edwards hasn't been informed. Not sure how to put this in the main article. --Minor muppetz 13:39, December 2, 2010 (UTC)

More sourcing

Brad added this text:

"While the company has not released any new information or updates on the project since December 2006, a Fraggle Rock film was mentioned several times in the company's presentations at Comic-Con International in July 2007; and in February 2008, when the coverage of Fraggle Rock was updated and expanded, the introductory information included a concluding sentence reinforcing the fact that "the Jim Henson Company is also actively in development on a Fraggle Rock feature film."

From all the sources I can find, the Fraggle film was mentioned at Comic-Con in 2006, and not in 2007. We need to provide reliable sources for statements like that, with quotes and a link to the original source.

Also, the text about the coverage being updated and expanded is misleading. That sentence implies that the company specifically wrote that text last week, based on up-to-the-minute information. We don't know if that's true. My suspicion is that they did what they usually do, which is post outdated press releases.

The sentence that's on the page now is 100% true: "The website's page on Fraggle Rock says that 'The Jim Henson Company is... actively in development on a Fraggle Rock feature film.'" I think saying anything more than that is misleading. -- Danny (talk) 07:50, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Brad just added a source -- a blog post from El Bicho. This would be fine as a source, but it doesn't back up the sentence it's supposed to be sourcing. The article says: "I attended The Jim Henson Company panel and they had a lot of projects of interest. Fans of Farscape, Fraggle Rock, and Dark Crystal all have something to look forward to." The article then goes on to talk about Tinseltown and the Skrumps. It doesn't say anything about the Fraggles.
Brad's edit summary said: "I also had a friend attend comic-con, and said they mentioned it several time their lists of upcoming/"in development" projects)". That's great, but it's not a source. Everything in the article right now is a direct quote. "Brad's friend who went to Comic Con" isn't a reliable source. We need a quote. -- Danny (talk) 08:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I did have a friend attend Comic-Con in 2007. I know he's not a citable source. He told me that they mentioned the Fraggle film several times in their lists of upcoming/"in development" projects -- although there was no more details than basically saying "we're still working on a Fraggle film too". The online coverage of Henson's happening at Comic-Con in '07 is pretty limited (when compared to the events in '06 – Power of the Dark Crystal, Jim Henson Designs, Late Night Buffet, Puppet Up, TokyoPop mangas, and Fraggle Rock). It seems no "big" outlets covered/reported on their presentations so aside from the snippets included in the podcast (Farscape Webisodes, Puppet Up! demo, The Skrumps, and a brief Q&A session) not much else is really out there about their presentations in '07 (although there were other presentations – including discussion and early samplings of Sam Plenty and Tinseltown, a general Company overview/preview, and more Tokyopop talk, among other stuff). There was nothing earth-shattering announced about the Fraggle film, however it shows that (as of July 2007) there was still life (or at least the company was still stating that the project had not died out and dropped off their slate back in December 2006).
As for the information. I'm not saying that the text was written the day it was posted, and I didn't read the text to imply that. But giving a date to when the information was published provides a timeline of when the information was released. It shows as of 2008 they are at least still distributing information that implys the project is in the works -- now whether or not the project is actually still in the works is debatable, but as of last week they posted a claim that said it was.
As it is written now it reads like the project died back in December 2006, although Henson has continued to say that it is still in the works since. -- Brad D. (talk) 08:27, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Right now, the article says: "The company has not released any further information about the movie project since October 2006."
It doesn't say that the project died, just that the company hasn't released any further information. That's a true fact, which we can stand by.
Henson folks saying "we're still working on a Fraggle movie" doesn't necessarily mean anything. It could mean "we have a script and a director, and we're building sets", or it could mean "we still have a piece of paper pinned to the bulletin board that says 'Fraggle movie'." If we had a direct quote from the presentation, then I think it would be worth posting that quote. Without that, I don't think it's worthwhile. -- Danny (talk) 08:51, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing this article

This article has been edited quite a bit -- it's obvious that this is a page that people are very interested in. So I'm concerned that we're becoming a major internet source for "news" that isn't correct.

As I posted below, the article doesn't actually quote Brian Henson -- it quotes from a blog post that talks about a Brian Henson interview. The BH interview that I found doesn't say the things that this article says he said.

I am personally very skeptical about many of the claims that are made in this article. Even if we can source this information, it only proves that that's what somebody claimed a year and a half ago. Sentences like "this movie is expected in late 2008" are clearly untrue.

So I'd like to take out every sentence that isn't directly sourced, and remove all speculation. I'm announcing my intentions, because I want to give somebody else the chance to do the cleanup before I do it. If nobody responds or works on the article over the next couple days, then I'm gonna come in with a hacksaw. If somebody wants to take a gentler approach, then do it soon. -- Danny (talk) 06:11, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Personally, the hacksaw approach sounds good to me. Right now, we really don't have anything to say, since the only announcements of any kind come from fall 2006, and then basically from one interview with Ahmet Zappa, one official announcement (at and Muppet Central) and the one interview which was copied onto a message board and then a blog. And given recent edits from users, full of guessing and speculation, I'd encourage everyone not to add "new" information unless there's a source. However, it might not hurt to directly quote from Zappa's interview where/if he mentions the characters, just to discourage that kind of thing, and then the article wouldn't be making a claim so much as noting that he said it (especially if we specify that this was December '06). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 06:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
And I just checked, and this is absolutely all Zappa said about characters. One passage isn't even a quote, but supposedly reflects his alleged script plans, or something: "Zappa's script will pick up with level-headed Gobo, artistic Mokey, athletic Red, nervous Wembley and chronically depressed Boober in the same underground tunnels where we left them 20 years ago, and follow the crew as they journey for the first time into 'Outer Space' — or as we like to call it, the real world." From Zappa: "Traveling Matt is in the movie... A lot of bad stuff has happened since the original 'Fraggle Rock,' and Trash Heap is all-knowing. She was always my favorite character on the show, so we're going to do her some justice." So that's all. Really, most of the interview is just Zappa talking about how awesome Fraggle Rock is and how neat he hopes the movie will be, with very little concrete info which, in any event, is over two years old now. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 06:25, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Just for the record, was updated this past week. They launched a new section covering Fraggle Rock in their slowly growing "productions" section (click on Fraggle Rock on the side bar). The main page of the Fraggle section states that "The Jim Henson Company is also actively in development on a Fraggle Rock feature film." So, as of February 2008, the Company is still going on the record and stating that they are actively developing the project. -- Brad D. (talk) 06:57, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
That's good to know. Thanks for adding that, Brad. However, I have to ask, do you have access to the actual Now Playing article? Looking at the pasted article on the Fraggle Rocker forum, I still don't see anything to indicate that the Fraggle project is number two priority, just this line. which isn't a direct quote: "On the front burner for Henson is a sequel to the cult classic The Dark Crystal." I don't think that necessarily means the same thing, and that specific passage should be removed. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 16:41, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I did a rewrite, and added a link to a reprint of the Now Playing article. Wikipedia says that Now Playing Magazine folded in 2006, so it's not surprising that we can't find a direct link. The "second priority" thing was an invention on the part of a blogger who misread the Now Playing article.

We could add more quotes from Zappa about Uncle Matt and the music, but I'm not sure there's a point to it now... I think it's likely that Zappa's treatment didn't go anywhere. We've got a link to the MTV interview, if people want to read further about it there.

Having the quote from is good, but I'm not sold on that being the current word on anything. That's just press release smoke, and doesn't necessarily reflect the current state of the project. -- Danny (talk) 19:27, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

IMDB info

This article is written in a somewhat breathless tone that may not be warranted. It's based on a Brian Henson interview from May 2006 (sort of), a press release from October 2006, and a December '06 interview with Ahmet Zappa.

The IMDB entry for the movie was last updated on November 5th, 2007 with this: "The search for a screenwriter and director will begin once the treatment is completed."

Given that it's now February 2008, I think it may be worth rewriting the article with a more objective tone. The article makes a number of major assertions that we can't verify, including:

  • "A currently untitled feature film based on Fraggle Rock is in the works." We don't know whether it's still in the works or not.
  • Ahmet Zappa and Brian Henson are listed as writer and director, although the IMDB update suggests that a screenwriter and director haven't been chosen yet.
  • "Pre-production is underway and release is expected for late 2008 or early 2009." We don't know if pre-production is still underway. A late 2008 release seems very unlikely at this point.
  • "This list only includes characters confirmed to appear in the film." That list is based on Ahmet Zappa's interview, which was conducted six weeks after he got the assignment. We don't know whether those characters ended up in his treatment, or if he's still involved in the project.
  • I also think that the statements attributed to Brian Henson may not actually be his. As far as I can tell, this is the text of the May 2006 interview, which was then discussed by this blog. Our article uses statements from that blog post that aren't in the interview, including the idea that the Fraggle movie is the company's number two priority. Brian doesn't mention priorities in the interview; that seems to be the invention of the blogger.

What do folks think about a more skeptical rewrite? -- Danny (talk) 02:11, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Considering it uses the phrase "Thea search for a screenwriter," and given the fallible nature of IMDb (the Power of the Dark Crystal page has been filled with performer's names for ages, many of which were directly contradicted by the puppeteers when asked), I don't think the director/screenwriter part is worth adding or changing, outside of specifying merely that they were announced as attached (the IMDb entry also claims Walt Disney Productions is involved, which is dubious; in general, that entry seems far less reliable than anything we have here). For the rest, I agree; it doesn't have to be more skeptical, as much as simply reflecting the current status (the list of characters, for example, would work better by directly quoting what Ahmet Zappa said about them, thus merely documenting Zappa's announced intentions, not implying a set cast list). While Henson issues re-assurances over Power of the Dark Crystal awhile back, absolutely nothing was said about the Fraggle movie. Right now, on the Henson website, neither project is mentioned at all (they seem to be focusing instead on the various web shows, Tinseltown, CG projects, and so on). So my feeling is make the changes and if nothing new is heard in, say, the next couple months, move to unfinished (we can always take it out in the event that news breaks). Unlike Power of the Dark Crystal (which I'm also not optimistic about, but we do have more recent updates and pre-production and so on), all indicators suggest that the Fraggle thing has yet to get beyond the planning and pre-scripting stages, if it's even still there, thus increasing the likelihood that it's either been abandoned or indefinitely postponed.. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:11, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
While we're at it, I'd like to bring up a related issue. In January 2007, pages were created for The Doubtful Guest, The Boggart, and Monster Blood Tattoo, all based on a single blanket press release which is no longer on the Henson website, and which really just announced that they'd been optioned. Nothing more seems to have emerged since. If any more recent info or releases can be found for these three, they should be added (I'm busy with other things, but a quick search reveals an April 2007 release for Doubtful Guest, but nothing since then, as far as I can tell, and even that mostly seems to be a rehash of the earlier press release). So my thought is to merge them all into a single page, ala Optioned Properties. If enough info accrues and there's enough signs that a given project is either still in the planning/production or at least went far enough to allow for a good article, it can be taken out, and if nothing emerges at all after awhile, or there's a general consensus that a given project seems to have been forgotten, the items should be merged into Optioned Properties. I'd also like to suggest that this be our policy in general with press releases of that kind, at least for film projects or anything else discussed in only vague terms (with the TV, web, and DVD projects, there's usually a little more to go on to begin with, turnaround is quicker, funding issues less problematic, and the Henson Company in general has been more focused on releasing status updates to promote these). A look at this 2005 article announcing the hiring of [[Jason Lust]] (whose page likewise needs adjusting, since so much of it is hinged on these projects) lists a whole slew of projects, not one of which made it to fruition, and all of which are just titles, some linked to a company. I'd prefer to be pleasantly surprised and break an item into a seperate article when we have more details or general indicators that the project will probably come out, than create multiple stub pages based on an enthusiastic advance press release. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:47, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I generally agree. I think a list of project titles doesn't need to be split out into a bunch of articles. However, I think we can make exceptions for projects like this one, or the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth spin-offs. There's enough excitement and interest in the announcement itself to deserve a page. But if it's a slew of random fantasy books being optioned, then yeah, we don't need the pages.
I agree about moving the pages you mentioned to a single page. We could even add them on to Optioned Properties, and just change the first sentence so it's not specific to Jim Henson Pictures. -- Danny (talk) 06:41, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh definitely. I think Fraggle and Power of the Dark Crystal, or any continuation of an existing Muppet/Henson franchise, deserve their own pages if we have the info, whether the project gets made or not (we should probably create a page for the Farscape webisodes one of these days; it's apparently been delayed by the WGA strike, but Scifi already has a placeholder page for it, which is a good sign). I was specifically thinking of the cases I listed, and similar instances, for the next time a press release surfaces listing optioned titles and little to nothing else. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 07:16, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Short of tossing in a jab that we should rename Optioned Properties to "How Henson Fails at Everything", I agree with the progression of this discussion. —Scott (talk) 15:53, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
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