Inspired by Jim Henson's original film in 1982, the Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will not use any CGI, and will only feature puppets. The creative team behind the long-awaited prequel series will implement the same technology used by Henson in order to replicate the original film's overall aesthetic.
Though there is very little in the way of plot surrounding the brand new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, it's based on the fantasy adventure movie from Muppets creator Jim Henson that centers around an elf-like creature named Jen (voiced by Stephen Garlick) who must embark on a dangerous quest to find a shard of the titular Dark Crystal in order to restore peace to his world. Unfortunately, a species known as the SkekSès attempt to thwart his mission. The prequel series from Netflix will center on the events leading up to The Dark Crystal, and will explore the fantastical world known as Thra, in which the series is set. What's more is that the brand new series will completely avoid the use of CGI, adhering identically to the production style from Henson's original movie.
At the New York Comic Con 2018 "Netflix & Chills" panel, The Jim Henson Company CEO Linda Henson and director Louis Letterier (Now You See Me) revealed some exciting tidbits about the upcoming series - not the least of which being its lack of CGI. Despite admitting that he is personally a fan of computer-generated imagery in his movies, Letterier revealed that there won't be any in the series, in order to stay true to Jim Henson's original vision, and said, "I love CGI, but we're not using CGI in this one. Puppets, man. Puppets." In fact, to maintain the look and feel of Henson's film, the series will also be shot in VistaVision, the same format used in the original film.
Now, despite the fact that there won't be any CGI appearing on screen in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Linda Henson revealed that there will be some modern technology utilized solely for the purpose of digitally editing out puppeteers. She explained that there are sequences in the series that would be impossible without this subtle use of technology, saying, "We’re removing puppeteers where they are physically moving the puppets from the outside. But Jim didn’t have the ability to do that at the time of the movie. So even though that’s a really old visual effects technique, it’s an advance on the film."
In keeping with the current trend of '80s nostalgia (see: Stranger Things, Guardians of the Galaxy), the creative approach being taken with The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance evolves from solely honoring retro aesthetics from the era to full-on throwback filmmaking techniques. The Jim Henson Company has always advocated a more "back to basics" M.O., and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance appears to be a love letter to the '80s that blends technical precision with explicit respect to the source material.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be available for streaming on Netflix in 2019.