Actress in final negotiations for Jim Henson Co. pic

Katherine Heigl is in final negotiations to star in the Jim Henson Co.’s “The Happytime Murders,” which Stuart Ford’s IM Global will launch to buyers at the European Film Market next week.

Pic, which is directed by Brian Henson (“A Muppets Christmas Carol”) and penned by Todd Berger (“Kung Fu Panda 2″) from a story he wrote with Dee Austin Robertson, takes place in a world where puppets and humans live together, but the puppets are viewed as second-class citizens.

When the puppet cast of an 1980s kids TV show gets murdered one by one, a disgraced detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.

The film noir puppet comedy has been in development at the Henson Co. since 2008.

IM Global is selling the pic through its Opus label at Berlinale next week.

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