Sesame Street film 'in the works'

Sesame Street characters Children's show Sesame Street is broadcast in dozens of countries around the world

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A new Sesame Street movie is thought to be in development, following reports that Fox has purchased film rights to the iconic TV show.

Industry website The Hollywood Reporter says the studio will enlist Sesame Street writer Joey Mazzarino to pen the script.

It follows the recent $158m (£100m) box office haul of Jim Henson's other fuzzy creations, The Muppets.

Sesame Street's best known characters include Elmo and Big Bird.

The educational children's show, which also features the likes of Bert, Ernie and Cookie Monster, combines live-action, puppetry and animation.

The long-running show has won more than 100 Emmy Awards and the format is now broadcast in dozens of countries.

Celebrities including David Beckham, Ricky Gervais and Julia Roberts have had cameos on the show, with performances from a host of music stars including REM, Paul Simon and James Blunt.

Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy is reported to be on board for the latest big-screen outing, although Fox has made no comment on The Hollywood Reporter's story.

Levy, meanwhile, is scheduled to start filming new comedy The Internship this summer, which will reunite Wedding Crashers stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

There have already been two Sesame Street films; Follow That Bird in 1985, featuring John Candy and Chevy Chase, and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, from 1999.

The Muppets on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Earlier this year The Muppets were presented with their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

This latest project could benefit from the success of The Muppets, which won an Oscar for best song in February.

None of the Sesame Street characters appeared in the film, as they are owned by the Sesame Workshop, while The Muppets were sold to Disney in 2004.

"We are now a wholly-owned subsidiary of a very large corporation," Steve Whitmire, the voice of Kermit, told the BBC earlier this year. "If I had my legs, you'd see a copyright on the bottom of my foot.

"They [the Sesame Street characters] are wholly-owned by someone else. That's part of it."

He continued: "I understand how this stuff works, and right now it's working very well so I'm not complaining. Thank goodness, Disney has trusted us to do a film."

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