Alumnus Cory Edwards to write and direct "Fraggle Rock"

Thu, 2008-05-29 15:15 -- univcomm
May 29, 2008

The Weinstein Company is enlisting the help of 1990 AU alumnus, Cory Edwards to write and direct a live-action musical version of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock.

The film is based of HBO's Emmy-winning first TV series, Fraggle Rock, which premiered in 1983 and ran for five seasons. The series tells the adventures of an underground civilization's inhabitants, portrayed by Jim Henson's Muppets.

Edwards was a broadcast production major at AU. While he grew up making films, he credits the broadcasting department for giving him necessary professional experience.

Outside of academics at AU, his experience on campus helped prepare him for his success today. "I always say that being the director of Dativus' Cheap Thrills probably prepared me for what I do now more than any class," Edwards said. "A lot of times I feel like running around in the back of Byrum Hall or Reardon during a Cheap Thrills performance is very much like being backstage at the Muppet show."

Edwards said that "the broad idea for the movie has always been, what if the characters from Fraggle Rock finally came up out of the ground and encountered human beings?"

He has high hopes for the film. "There have been a lot of films that have been made out of kids' characters, and a lot of older people feel like those films didn't do their childhood characters justice. I'm looking forward to changing peoples minds," Edwards explained.

While Edwards is looking to raise the bar, he hopes to stay faithful to the original Muppet spirit. "I want to do as much as possible with puppets, and not use special effects or CGI," he explained. "There are things that I'm writing right now that I don't know how we're going to pull off. And that's what is fun: trying to figure out where to hide the performer and where to put the actors with the puppets. I'm looking forward to that challenge."

Beyond the fun-filled childhood story, Cory is looking to add some dimension to the film. "Fraggle Rock is a happy, Utopian society of children. What would happen if these simple villagers encountered our hard, cynical world?" he asked. "What I want to do is the kind of thing that Dr. Seuss used to do, which is to take a very childlike story, and make it a parable about humanity and our world."

Cory Edwards co-wrote and directed Hoodwinked! released by the Weinstein Company in 2006. The film, an innovative retelling of the fairytale "Little Red Riding Hood," starring Anne Hathaway, Glen Close, and Jim Belushi, was in the top-10 at the Box Office for four consecutive weeks in winter 2006.

"I think the tone of Hoodwinked! is what Lisa Henson responded to. It's funny because when Todd and I were starting Hoodwinked!, we talked a lot about the Muppets and that tone, as far as their comedy and their energy," he said.

Visit Cory's blog for regular updates on the film's progress.

David Hynds is the Web Content Specialist for Anderson University.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.