Muppet HELLRAISER? Muppet IT? Muppet MISERY? Muppetizing Famous Horror Films
As all of you should know at this point, I'm a regular participant in the film podcast Myopia Movies. In addition to appearing on the show in almost every episode, I also share a lot of memes and other amusing content in our Facebook group. Below is one meme I found that spawned some particularly interesting discussion.
Seriously, a Muppet version of A Clockwork Orange? The Hensons would sooner commit collective suicide. However, when I shared the meme in the group, some interesting discussions emerged. James O'Neil from my writing group suggested a Muppet version of Hellraiser, with Beaker as Pinhead. That would deprive us of the awesomeness of Doug Bradley as Pinhead, but I'll at least acknowledge that. Here's my cast:
Kirsty Cotton: Ashley Laurence
Larry Cotton: Kermit The Frog
Julia Cotton: Miss Piggy
Frank Cotton: Sean Chapman (alive), Oliver Smith (undead)
Steve: Robert Hines
Pinhead: Doug Bradley
Female Cenobite: Janice
Butterball Cenobite: Bobo the Bear
Chatterer Cenobite: Fozzy Bear
The other characters (like Larry's party guests, the men Julia brings home for Frank to kill) can be a mix of humans and Muppets. Since they don't really have distinctive personalities, it doesn't matter who plays whom.
I thought about making Animal Frank Cotton (the "WOMAN! WOMAN! WOMAN!" stuff would tie in with Frank's sexual aggression), but Muppet Treasure Island uses human Tim Curry having been in a romantic relationship with Miss Piggy for jokes. Keeping the canonical actors as Frank would work for that purpose as well. Given how the Derelict (the keeper of the puzzle box) is supposed to be an unnatural and scary being, Gonzo would work for him too--until Muppets From Space revealed he was an alien, he was always a "Whatsit" or, in Muppet Babies, a "Weirdo." And making Chatterer Fozzy Bear would be amusing--instead of the click-click-click thing, he just says "wokka, wokka, wokka" all the time.
James also suggested a Muppet version of It. I was initially skeptical because Miss Piggy is always the female lead and I would never buy her as Beverly. When we see her as an adult, Beverly is beaten down by life (and literally by her evil husband Tom Rogan), while Miss Piggy is loud and takes no crap from anybody. James suggested the Muppet Janice might work better, but she's not one of the major Muppets. For convenience's sake, we're using the adults here for the most part, not the kids. Credit to horror writer @disneynine for Ben, Richie, and Eddie.
Ben Hanscom: Kermit
Richie Tozier: Fozzie Bear
Beverly Marsh: Jessica Chastain
Bill Denbrough: James McAvoy
Mike Hanlon: Isaiah Mustafa
Eddie Kasparak: Gonzo
Stanley Uris: Andy Bean*
Tom Rogan: Will Beinbrink
Pennywise: Bill Skarsgård
Sonia Kaspark: Miss Piggy (flashback)
Although Henson's special-effects crew could make a magnificent practical-effects Pennywise for the climax in which It's true spider-like form is revealed, I liked Bill Skarsgård's performance in It: Chapter One (I never saw It Chapter Two), much like how I liked Doug Bradley's performance as Pinhead. Replacing either with Muppets would be a shame. Jessica Chastain pulls off the sort of worn-down look the adult Beverly would have--she's nearly 40, has been smoking since she was in middle school, and her husband hits her. Depicting the mild-mannered and encouraging Kermit as her eventual second husband Ben would work personality-wise.
And if the vengeful Tom shows up (in the book he followed Beverly to Derry and was enslaved and eventually killed by Pennywise), we can play his jealous horror at the thought of his wife sleeping with a Muppet for laughs. He was ready to kill her because he thought she'd left him for Bill (in this version a human)--how psychotic would he get if he thinks she'd left him for a Muppet?
Also, since this is a Muppet movie, Miss Piggy has to be in there somewhere. The only way I could think of to work her in would be having flashbacks to Sonia Kasparak, who has Manchausen's Syndrome by Proxy and tricked Eddie into thinking he has asthma, and attempts to separate him from his friends.
*Although the cast seems a little too human (only four out of the ten major characters are Muppets), Stanley is the one who slits his wrists in the bathtub rather than return to Derry to confront Pennywise. His wife coming into the bathroom and finding "IT" written on the bathroom walls in Muppet fluff would be unintentionally hilarious, not horrifying. This isn't supposed to be The Happytime Murders.
Another discussion that emerged from that was Stephen King's Misery. Imagine Miss Piggy as Annie Wilkes and Kermit as author Paul Sheldon, whom she imprisons and terrorizes. :)