A supposed sequel to the 1986 cult-classic Labyrinth, starring recently deceased music legend David Bowie, was first brought up about two years ago. However, that news was quickly shut down when it was confirmed that Jim Henson Co. had no active plans to move forward with the project. The original fantasy adventure follows a teenager (Jennifer Connelly) who must find her way through the puzzles and dangers of the titular Labyrinth in order to save her baby brother, who was kidnapped by the goblin king (David Bowie).
The film, which now possesses a huge cult following, was directed by Jim Henson, Bowie wrote all of the songs for the film, and the goblins that populate the labyrinth were Henson creations. However, it performed poorly at the box office, grossing $12.7 million on a budget of $25 million – and was the last film directed by Henson. Thirty years later, there has finally been progress on the reboot – as Tri-Star has closed a deal with the Jim Henson Co. to create a new version of Labyrinth.
According to THR, Lisa Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, will produce and will be overseen at Tri-Star by Nicole Brown – with Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman writing the script. When news of a new Labyrinth was originally announced, the project was intended as a sequel. Right now, it is unclear whether that is still the case or if the movie will be a complete relaunch. Whatever route Brown and Perlman take, the film has large shoes to film. In addition to being the last film directed by Henson, with songs and a performance from Bowie, the film was also scripted by Monty Python member, Terry Jones, and was executive produced by George Lucas.
As choices go Perlman is an excellent pick. She got her start in Marvel Studios’ writers program- and made a huge splash with James Gunn’s fan-favorite summer blockbuster. Last year, she was approached to co-pen Captain Marvel with Inside Out writer Meg LeFauve; so, skeptics can at least take comfort in knowing that Tri-Star has invested in a quality screenplay.
No other information, especially casting, has been released – so start your fantasy roster now. If anyone wants to try to fill in for Bowie, best of luck to them. Fans are difficult to please at the best of times – and even harder when watching a childhood favorite redressed for modern audiences. Bowie will be hard to replace but Perlman shows that production is off to a good start – begging the bigger question: does anyone want a Labyrinth sequel or reboot now?
It’s hard to imagine any version of Labyrinth without Bowie as Jareth – and announcing this new project less than two weeks after the singer/songwriter/actor’s death might not be the most sensitive timing. That all said, the nostalgia factor has been strong this year – with releases like Star Wars and Jurassic World performing extremely well (not to mention the upcoming Independence Day sequel and Ghostbusters reboot) – Henson will certainly want to join the trend as soon as possible.
The Labyrinth reboot does not currently have an official release date. We’ll keep you updated as further information is released.