In October of 2014 we shared with you news that Labyrinth, the 1986 movie directed by the late, great Jim Henson, could be getting a sequel. Many were excited by the news, but it was then reported not long after that that sources had denied that a sequel to the puppet filled fantasy flick was actually being made. And we all moved on.
Though fans were excited about the thought of another adventure in the labyrinth with all of our favorite characters, including Jareth the Goblin King (played by David Bowie), prepare for some news you might not be so excited about. It’s now being reported that, not even two weeks after Bowie left us forever, a reboot of Labyrinth is in the works.
The Hollywood Reporter, who is reporting the news, says that the movie will be “rebooted for the 21st century.” TriStar Pictures, which is owned by Sony, has reached a deal with The Jim Henson Company to produce the new take on Labyrinth, and they’ve hired Guardians of the Galaxy writer Nicole Perlman to pen the screenplay. Perlman also worked as a script doctor on Marvel’s Thor, worked on a treatment for a possible Black Widow movie, and is writing the script for Captain Marvel along with Meg LeFauve.
The reboot will be produced by Lisa Henson of The Jim Henson Company, with Nicole Brown of TriStar overseeing the project.
It’s not known yet if this new take will use the same or a similar story as the original—which followed a young girl who wishes her baby brother she’s stuck babysitting be taken away by the Goblin King, leading to an unforgettable journey through an impossible maze to get him back when that wish is granted—or if it will tell a new story set in that world…possibly even the sequel we had heard about.
While many seem upset by the news, I’m going to remain open to at least the idea. This is mainly because it’s being made by The Jim Henson Company and TriStar, who also distributed the original. That gives me hope they won’t do what most fans are fearful of and make it mostly computer animated. So long as they stay true to the puppets and animatronic creations that made the original, I’m up for seeing what they come up with. Oh, and when it comes time to choose a director, might I suggest seeing if Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones (Moon, Warcraft), is interested in making it. That…would be pretty damn awesome.
The original, which was written by Monty Python’s Terry Jones and produced by George Lucas through Lucasfilm, was by no means a success. In fact, it did so poorly it devastated Jim Henson, who walked away from directing films. Labyrinth made only $12.7 million at the box office—about $26 million less than Running Scared and $60 million less than Ruthless People, both of which came out the same day in June of ’86. To compare to box office numbers today, it made $45 million less that Star Wars: The Force Awakens made just in its Thursday preview shows alone.
But none of that ultimately mattered. Kids everywhere eventually found a VHS tape with the movie on it in their hands, and it’s been with them ever since. Others perhaps first discovered it later on LaserDisc or even DVD. Now adult fans of the movie are introducing it to their kids on Blu-ray. And they’ll share it with their kids someday too. I just hope somewhere Jim Henson and David Bowie are catching up, and they realize how important the movie they made is to so many people.
As for TriStar and The Jim Henson Company, I have no doubt you’ll come up with new characters and creations wherever you go with the new movie. But remember, should you need them, for any reason at all…