Never underestimate the power of the ‘stalge. How many movies that under-performed in their initial theatrical runs are now massive cult favorites because of VHS and cable? You probably didn’t even know Clue, The Iron Giant, and The Shawshank Redemption (!) were all disappointments at the box office. But we love them! They found life later on and now they’re classics. In recent years, the love for Jim Henson’s high-fantasy films has seen a resurgence. The Dark Crystal found renewed interest with its excellent Netflix series; now Henson’s other fantasy classic, Labyrinth, is getting a long-awaited sequel.
From Deadline, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson will take on a sequel to Labyrinth for TriStar Pictures. Maggie Levin, who wrote and directed the Into the Dark episode My Valentine for Hulu, will write the script. Derrickson, of course, stepped away from Marvel’s Doctor Strange sequel for creative differences. That led to Spider-Man director Sam Raimi to take over.
As for Labyrinth, the 1986 movie was Jim Henson’s last film as director. It received mixed reviews at the time and was a box office disappointment. However, a generation of kids have discovered it on home video and fell in love with its dark fairy tale vibe, inventive character designs, and whimsical narrative. It represents some of conceptual designer Brian Froud’s most accomplished work. And, not for nothing, David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King is the stuff dreams are made of.
From 2006 to 2010, Tokyopop published a four-volume comic book sequel, Return to Labyrinth. It followed Toby, “the babe” from the original movie, ten years after his sister Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) defeated Jareth. But, of course, Jareth wasn’t really gone, and still wanted Toby for his heir. In January 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy writer Nicole Perlman announced she was working on a “spin-off” to the movie, though that project fell through.
No word on what exactly a “sequel” to Labyrinth will look like at this point. Considering it’s already almost 35 years later and Henson and Bowie are both no longer with us. But there are certainly no shortage of creative and skilled people working at the Henson Company currently; if a Labyrinth sequel can capture any of the magic that The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance did, we’ll be dancing our magic dance all the way home from the cinema.
Featured Image: TriStar