Jim Henson Company / Free Press
The Jim Henson Company continues to establish itself as a film production company eighteen years after the death of its founder, picking up the rights to Stacey O’Brien’s memoir WESLEY THE OWL and hiring Dolphin Tale co-writer Karen Janszen to adapt the novel.
O’Brien’s book recounts the true story of its author as a young Caltech biologist, who in 1985, is asked by her mentor to raise Wesley, a baby barn owl with a wing injury that will prevent it from surviving in the wild. O’Brien ended up keeping that owl for nineteen years. When O’Brien developed a life-threatening illness, she found solace and support from her pet owl, and she collected stories of this relationship into the book, which is a cross between Marley & Me and Fly Away Home.
The film will be produced by Henson CEO & President Lisa Henson along with Halle Stanford and Sarah Maizes for Henson Co. Andrew Trapani and Mark Hantoot will also produce, while Larry Hummel and Tera Kurtz will co-produce the project, which is currently out to filmmakers and cast.
The Jim Henson Company is currently in production on The Happytime Murders, starring Melissa McCarthy and the Netflix original series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The company is also developing a Fraggle Rock film based on the ’80s puppet-driven television show created by Henson.
After producing Winchester for CBS Films, Trapani is currently developing a remake of An American Werewolf in London for Universal Studios with Max Landis writing and directing. Trapani previously produced The Haunting in Connecticut, and he is repped by Stone Genow.
Janszen previously wrote screenplays for A Dolphin Tale, Duma and Mandy Moore’s A Walk to Remember, and co-created the series Mars for National Geographic and Ron Howard/Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment. She is repped by the Gersh Agency.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor