The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus and Henson TV Team for New Live-Action Fantasy Series
The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus is joining forces with the Jim Henson Company and The Dark Crystal designers to create a new original live-action fantasy series. As reported by Variety, the family-friendly primetime adventure series will spawn "an entirely new universe of creatures" created by Wendy and Brian Froud, creature and concept designers behind Henson's The Dark Crystal (1982), Labyrinth (1986), and Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019). The as-yet-untitled series is in early development from Henson TV, which recently rebooted Fraggle Rock with revival Back to the Rock on Apple TV+.
"Norman Reedus, the Frouds [who will create the show's creatures] and the Jim Henson Company coming together to create a show is the mashup of my dreams," Halle Stanford, president of TV at The Jim Henson Company, said in a statement (via Variety). "Norman is an artist, and when I suggested to him, what if we create a series with the Frouds together that explores his love of magical creatures, he was so excited."
Excited is "an understatement," said Reedus. "They are masters in the fantasy world-building space. I mean, a show about goblins, trolls and otherworldly creatures? There's nobody in the universe better suited for that than the Henson Company."
Stanford added the company is looking to further expand into "family-oriented primetime fare in fantasy and science fiction," describing the genre as "hope punk."
"We want to make hope cool," Stanford said, revealing the Reedus and Frouds project is "an urban fantasy. It will be a magical world. But I feel like Norman is going to help us bring the 'punk' back in 'hope punk.' I also think that people kind of like that punk in Henson's legacy...When you say 'Jim Henson,' it invokes something in people. So I'm hoping those that felt inspired by him, like Norman Reedus, will look to us as a new home to create these types of stories that are transformative and entertaining, and having something to say, but also wanting to kind of push the medium of television."
Last May, Reedus' bigbaldhead production company and AMC Studios (The Walking Dead, Ride With Norman Reedus) announced a TV adaptation of Russ Meyer's 1965 exploitation film Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! with Reedus as executive producer. As star, Reedus will reprise the Daryl Dixon role in the untitled Walking Dead: Daryl & Carol spin-off series in development for a planned 2023 premiere on AMC.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season returns with new episodes February 20 on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter and @NewsOfTheDead for The Walking Dead Universe coverage all season long.