The Jim Henson Company’s short-lived Greg the Bunny with Who Framed Roger Rabbit stuffed up its puppet-hole, The Happytime Murders sees Melissa McCarthy as a detective who teams with a washed-up puppet P.I. to solve a series of felted murders.
The film has been in development since 2008, with Cameron Diaz, Katherine Heigl, and Jamie Foxx among the arbitrary stars once attached to this Great Muppet Homicide. Unfortunately, while it’s finally hitting screens, the decade of development seems to have worn it down to its crudest form—a sock puppet of the handsomely-dressed Fraggle that came before. Once described as Sesame Street‘s genre neighbor to L.A. Confidential, The Happytime Murders now appears to lean entirely into the idea that puppets doing crass, R-rated things is inherently funny. Have a look for yourself with this first, very red-band trailer, featuring basically nothing but jokes about how much these fabric humanoids love to fuck. How fitting that this likely 12-year-old script now seems written by a 12-year-old.
We’ll see whether the intriguing murder mystery parts are yet to come, hosing us down with their wretched neo-noir silly-semen, when The Happytimes Murders hits theaters August 17.