Doc Talk Podcast: Ron Howard On Telling Jim Henson’s Story, Taking A Splash With John Candy & Getting His Directing Break From Roger Corman

Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is just back from the Cannes Film Festival, where he premiered his latest film, Jim Henson Idea Man. Ahead of the documentary’s launch Friday on Disney+, the director stops by Deadline’s Doc Talk podcast to share insights into his exploration of the Muppets creator, filmmaker and creative genius.

Howard tells us how his film went over in Cannes (and how the reception compared to an earlier movie he premiered at the fest, 2006’s The Da Vinci Code) and what got the biggest laughs at a screening just a few days ago in Los Angeles.

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He also recalls the unusual circumstances of his one face-to-face encounter with Henson decades ago, and he shares what George Lucas thought of the groundbreaking puppet master (Henson helped design the Yoda character for Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back). And Howard explains how Henson’s 1965 Oscar-nominated short film, Time Piece, became the thematic throughline for his documentary. He says of the short: “It’s funny, it’s wry, it’s a little shocking. It’s adult.”

Our wide-ranging conversation also gets into how Roger Corman, the cinema legend who died May 9 at 98, gave Howard his first shot at feature directing – and what Corman demanded in return for letting the neophyte filmmaker climb behind the camera on 1977’s Grand Theft Auto. And he tells us about his experience on 1984’s Splash, working with the late John Candy, the subject of an upcoming documentary produced by Glen Zipper.

RELATED: Ron Howard Returns To Cannes With Documentary ‘Jim Henson Idea Man’ – First Look

That’s on the new episode of Doc Talk, co-hosted by Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and Deadline’s documentary editor, Matt Carey. Doc Talk is a production of Deadline and Ridley’s Nō Studios, presented with support from National Geographic Documentary Films.

Doc Talk is a 2024 Webby Awards honoree. You can listen to our latest episode above or on major podcast platforms including SpotifyiHeart and Apple.

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