Joseph Gordon-Levitt went from Angels in the Outfield to becoming a full-blown hip sex symbol. Now, he is taking his cred to the next level by directing and starring in the long-awaited movie revival of Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock franchise. There’s no expected production schedule announced as of yet.
For those that are too young to remember, Fraggle Rock originally debuted on television in 1983 and followed the misadventures of the Muppet-like cave dwellers called Fraggles. They were constantly running into trouble with the gigantic Gorgs and the ambitious Doozers. The series ran for four years, but whispers of a feature-length adaptation have been swirling since 2005 with several brief revivals in interest, including a script to be written by the minds behind the 2011 animated film Rango. Gordon-Levitt’s taking of the reigns appears to give the project some hope of actually making it to the screen.
Gordon-Levitt began his career as the kid on Third Rock From the Sun, grew into a full-fledged star in hits like 10 Things I Hate About You, The Dark Knight Rises and 500 Days of Summer, then an Eastwood-style actor-director in 2012’s Don Jon. On the side, the actor runs crowd-sourced art project hitRECord, a company that has gathered multimedia art and published it in adorable, all-ages art like The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, making it no surprise that he’d be interested in the legacy of quirk left behind by the great Jim Henson.
“The first screen personas I ever loved were [Jim] Henson creations, first onSesame Street, and then on Fraggle Rock,” Gordon-Levitt said in a statement to Variety. “I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man, and on into adulthood.”
The actor can only hope that the move is as lucrative as Jason Segel’s 2011 Muppets revival, a career move that exposed him to a whole new audience and saved him from the sitcom structure of How I Met Your Mother. Gordon-Levitt’s name is the only name currently attached to the project, but one can only hope he’ll bring Flight of the Conchords member and Oscar-winning Muppets songwriter Bret McKenzie back to the Henson property for more catchy songs a la “Life’s a Happy Song.”
Gordon-Levitt has a number of movies in production right now, including the title role in Snowden and adaptation of Man on Wire’s French tightrope walking hero Phillipe Petit, which will hit theaters in October. With a little luck, Fraggle will be close behind.