The original Labyrinth, starring recently deceased creative force David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, opened up a fantastic world filled with noxious swamps and frustratingly rearranging mazes. The 1986 film was the culmination of director Jim Henson’s imagination, Terry Jones’ (Monty Python) comedic writing, Bowie’s catchy songwriting, and George Lucas’ cinematic vision. Although the original barely made back half of its $25 million budget, it became an ’80s classic in its own right with a legion of fans.
Recently, news emerged that Tri-Star’s Nicole Brown and Lisa Henson, daughter of the late, great Muppetier, will launch a renewed foray into the Labyrinth world. Tri-Star brought in Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman to develop a screenplay which would return viewers to the fantasy world. Still, there was a good deal of speculation as to whether the developing film would be a reboot of the classic or a sequel of sorts – speculation which the Perlman has cleared up.
The GOTG scribe recently took to Twitter in order to clarify the film’s concept. Perlman emphasized that the production was “not ‘rebooting’ anything”:
Guys, please don't fall for all the clickbait. No one is remaking "Labyrinth." That movie is perfect as it is.— Nicole Perlman (@Uncannygirl) January 24, 2016
Perlman also mentioned her personal love of the original Labyrinth and desire to keep the film true to its roots, as well as its departed creators and stars:
Labyrinth is my favorite film from childhood, so I share your concerns that any continuation of the world be handled with love and respect.— Nicole Perlman (@Uncannygirl) January 23, 2016
The original Labyrinth – which follows a teenaged girl (Connelly) who unwittingly invokes a curse and must unravel a labyrinth to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King (Bowie) – has a strong cult following. The news about this “continuation” has prompted a good deal of backlash from fans cynical about a studio cash grab after Bowie’s tragic loss. Perlman also addressed this understandably upset fan base in an additional tweet, explaining her utmost respect for Bowie and her connection to the project since its inception in 2014.
Henson Co & I started talking in late 2014, so the timing of these rumors is so upsetting. I would never seek to profit from Bowie's death.— Nicole Perlman (@Uncannygirl) January 23, 2016
Despite the cynicism, the project does have a lot of potential if handled properly. Henson and Jones built a magical realm which has a lot of room for exploration – as evident by scores of fan-fiction websites. Clearly David Bowie as Jareth is irreplaceable, but Perlman seems to respect his talents and his memory. Hopefully the producers will also see fit to retire his role rather than recasting it. In an epic fantasy world like Labyrinth, there’s plenty of wiggle room for alternative characters. Perhaps the Goblin King found another queen (after failing to force Connelly to become queen) or had a daughter or son.
Nevertheless, a Labyrinth sequel is bound to be met with some derision. Whether or not the production had been in the works for two years, moving ahead with a continuation of Labyrinth so close to Bowie’s passing feels callous. Despite the talent involved, some fans clearly feel that Labyrinth should never be revisited out of respect for Henson and now Bowie. Other fans of the series, though, are looking forward to further exploring of Henson’s wonderful creation.
The Labyrinth sequel does not currently have an official release date. We’ll keep you updated as further information is released.
Source: Nicole Perlman