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Industry Roundup: Muppet Baby Murder Mystery

Beware the Muppet spawn.

Muppet Baby Murder Mystery: Lionsgate has picked up Happytime Murders, a comedy thriller written by Todd Berger. If the project gets off the ground, the director will be Brian Henson, son of Jim. The movie "takes place in a world where humans and puppets coexist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of 1980s children's TV show The Happytime Gang begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet — with a drinking problem, no less — takes the case with his former human partner." [HR]

The Tell-Tale Cast: Luke Evans and Alice Eve will join John Cusack in The Raven, a thriller directed by James McTeigue that will star Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Eve will play Poe's fiancée, and Evans will play a detective that teams up with Poe to search for a serial killer that copies the author's work. He replaces Jeremy Renner, who bailed in August for Mission:Impossible 4. Shooting begins at the end of the month, "with Budapest and Serbia standing in for 1849 Baltimore." [HR]

We Love You Too, Man: John Hamburg, the director of I Love You, Man and a writer of Zoolander, signed a two-year deal with Dreamworks. The studio gets first look at anything he writes, directs, or produces. He just finished writing and producing Little Fockers for the studio, and is also producing the CBS drama The Defenders for them. [Variety]

The New Kids: Adam Brody and Greta Gerwig are the stars of Whit Stillman's new movie Damsels of Distress. The director of Metropolitan and Last Days of Disco hasn't made a feature since 1998. Damsels is currently shooting, and is about "a group of style-obsessed college girls who take in a new student (Gerwig) and teach her their misguided ways of helping people at their grungy university." Brody will play the love interest. [HR]

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images