Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Fraggle Rock movie is dead. Originally created by the late, great Jim Henson back in 1983, this somewhat bizarro version of The Muppets had a smaller but no less dedicated following than that of Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy.
The Fraggle Rock TV series ran for five seasons – a strange sort of underworld interpretation of what more could be done with the type of live-action puppeteering that had made Henson’s Muppets so popular. When the five seasons came to an end, the Fraggles went on to star in a wide variety of media, from cartoons to comics to cameos in the Muppet-led Muppet Family Christmas TV movie. But for years after their golden era died down, the Fraggles were largely forgotten by the public, except for their dedicated fanbase. The Muppets, on the other hand, have continued to enjoy revival after revival, though in recent times, things have quieted slightly. Still, some felt that the Fraggles were in equal need of some of the attention that the Muppets have been receiving. Earlier this year, it was revealed that a feature film was on its way. The film was reportedly being produced by and starring Gordon-Levitt.
Unfortunately for Fraggle Rock fans, however, it doesn’t look as though a feature-length film is going to happen after all. In a recent interview with Variety, Gordon-Levitt spoke about the concept of bringing the Fraggles to the big screen and how it is no longer something that he’s working toward doing. Citing the existence of Apple TV+’s Fraggle Rock TV series, Levitt explained that there are so many projects in Hollywood that are in development, and despite the hard work of many, sometimes things just don’t pan out. When asked if Fraggle Rock was still happening, this was Gordon-Levitt’s response:
“No, they did a show with Apple, which I haven’t seen but look forward to checking it out. There’s so many projects that are in development. Some get into the press for some reason and some don’t. We all spend lots and lots of time working on lots and lots of things that don’t become real. This was one of those.”
The Apple TV+ series, Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, arrived in the latter half of April, and while it hasn’t exactly blown audiences or critics away, it has fared reasonably well. However, if the series is the trade-off that Fraggle Rock fans must settle for rather than a feature film, it’s likely not a satisfactory exchange for many. But of course, simply because Levitt is no longer involved with trying to get a Fraggle Rock film off the ground doesn’t mean that it will never happen. This is especially true if The Jim Henson Company discovers there’s enough interest in the TV series to merit expanding into other avenues. Right now, that’s a hard call to make, but fans would do well to stay positive regarding the franchise’s possibilities.
If a Fraggle Rock feature film does go ahead at some point, it’s also worth remembering that it most likely won’t happen any time soon. It’s disappointing to see someone as talented as Levitt step away from what could have been an interesting project, but the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of talented actors in Hollywood, many of which could also do an excellent job of heading up a Fraggle Rock film. For now, fans of the franchise will have to settle for watching the latest Fraggle iteration on Apple TV+.
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