Press Release

September 13, 2017 Elizabeth Banks Joins ‘The Happytime Murders’ From STXfilms Filming Has Begun on the Melissa McCarthy Comedy, Directed by Brian Henson

LOS ANGELES (September 13, 2017) – THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS has landed another major star to add to its cast: Elizabeth Banks is joining Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph in the STXfilms comedy from director Brian Henson.

Banks will next be seen in Pitch Perfect 3, the third film of the hit franchise, which she also produced. She is known for her roles in The Hunger Games franchise, 40 Year Old Virgin, Wet, Hot American Summer and Love & Mercy. She has been nominated for multiple Emmys for her television appearances on “30 Rock” and “Modern Family." Banks is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.

Set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans co-exist, THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS tells the comedic tale of two clashing detectives, one human and the other a puppet, who are forced to work together to solve the mystery of who is brutally murdering the former cast of “The Happytime Gang,” a beloved classic puppet show.

McCarthy plays lead detective Connie Edwards opposite longtime Henson puppeteer Bill Barretta who performs Phil Phillips, the puppet detective. Banks portrays Jenny, a burlesque dancer, and Rudolph plays Bubbles, Phil’s secretary.

Filming began in Los Angeles earlier this week. Producers are Brian Henson for The Jim Henson Company’s Henson Alternative, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone for On The Day Productions, and Jeffrey Hayes. Writers are Todd Berger, Dee Robertson, Erich & Jon Hoeber, and Melissa McCarthy. Lisa Henson, Dee Robertson, and John W. Hyde serve as executive producers. Additional key crew includes director of photograpy Mitchell Amundsen, production designer Chris L. Spellman, costume designer Arjun Bhasin, and editor Brian Scott Olds.

STXfilms will release THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS in the U.S. on August 17, 2018.

***Credits not final/not contractual***

About STXfilms

STXfilms is a division of STX Entertainment, a global next-generation media company whose mission is to unlock the value of the direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content. It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises.

The company is led by accomplished businessman Robert Simonds and was co-founded by Bill McGlashan, managing partner of the leading global private investment firm TPG. Other investors include Hony Capital, a leading private equity firm in China; PCCW, Southeast Asia’s largest Internet and cable services provider; Tencent Holdings, China’s leading provider of online products and services; Dominic Ng, Chairman of East West Bank; DNS Capital (representing the business interests of Gigi Pritzker and her immediate family); and Beau Wrigley, former Chairman and CEO of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, among others. With these strategic relationships, the company is uniquely positioned to maximize the impact of content worldwide, with direct passage into the China market.

For more information, please visit stxentertainment.com

About Henson Alternative

Henson Alternative is The Jim Henson Company’s label for content created specifically and exclusively for adult audiences. In 1955, Jim Henson’s first television production “Sam & Friends” appeared on late-night television as a lead in to “The Tonight Show,” establishing a standard in the Company’s work for irreverent, creative comedy projects that spoke to adults. Henson proved that puppetry was not limited to children. Today, Henson Alternative continues to produce and develop projects for this adult audience. Credits include “No, You Shut Up!,” (Fusion), “Neil’s Puppet Dreams” (Nerdist), “Tinseltown” (Logo), “Puppet Up! – Uncensored” (a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows” by Entertainment Weekly), and the upcoming feature film “Happytime Murders” with STXfilms. (www.hensonalternative.com)

About On the Day Productions

On the Day Productions is a film and television production company founded by Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy. “Tammy,” co-written by McCarthy and Falcone, starring McCarthy and directed by Falcone was the company's inaugural production, released by Warner Bros/New Line in 2014. This film went on to gross over $100 million worldwide. Their second film "The Boss," again written by McCarthy and Falcone, starring McCarthy and directed by Falcone was released by Universal in 2016. The company recently expanded into television with the hit show and critical darling, "Nobodies” which McCarthy and Falcone Executive Produce for TVLand.

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