A sequel (not a remake) to David Bowie's LABYRINTH in development

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bowie-labyrinthJust last week I was remarking to a fellow writer that I hadn’t seen Labyrinth in probably two decades. My reverie of the Jim Henson directed 1986 dark fantasy adventure film was of course brought on by the passing of the late great David Bowie who in the film played Jareth the Goblin King (and also had really 80’s hair).

I was already planning to rewatch the movie in honour, but those plans just got even more imminent as in a prime example of “IS NOTHING SACRED ANY MORE?”, as well as “HOW ABOUT THAT TIMING?!”, Tristar studio has closed a deal with the Jim Henson Company to produce a new follow-up film to Labyrinth. Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman – who is also busy working on Marvel’s Captain Marvel script at the moment – has already been tapped to pen this new, still untitled film.

When the news initially broke over the weekend courtesy of THR, it was being reported that this new film would be a “reboot”. Which, of course prompted much gnashing of internet teeth and metaphors about Bowie spinning wildly in his grave. Since then though, EW has learned that this will not be a reboot but rather some form of sequel. So just mild spinning then?

There’s no word yet on who will direct the film, but they will certainly have some big shoes to fill. The film was the last one directed by Muppets maestro Jim Henson before his death in 1990, and was produced by George Lucas back when being “produced by George Lucas” was still a very good thing.

Monty Python alum Terry Jones penned the script, which saw Jareth kidnap the infant brother of a teenage girl (played by a 15-year old Jennifer Connelly in one her first feature film performances) after she selfishly wishes him away not knowing it would really happen, and forcing her to try and make her way through an an enormous otherworldly maze to rescue him. A maze that besides for Bowie and Connelly was mostly filled with Henson’s iconic puppet characters. Bowie also recorded five songs for the film, performing four of them on-screen.

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Upon it’s release in 1986, the weird and trippy Labyrinth received only lukewarm reviews and was a box office bomb – prompting Henson to hang up his directing hat for good – but in the years since it has become a monstrous cult classic hit with fans of both Henson’s Muppets and the legendary Bowie.

Just what approach this sequel will take is unclear as this is being kept very hush hush at the moment. Henson’s daughter Lisa is said to be producing, and with the Jim Henson Co. themselves onboard, it would seem that this follow-up will maybe keep the tactile puppet aesthetic of the original rather than, well, pulling a George Lucas and going the full CG route.

So what do you guys think about a Labyrinth sequel? Horrible idea or are you doing the magic dance to this news?

UPDATE: Nicole Perlman has now taken to Twitter to confirm that this is indeed a sequel and not a reboot, and also to state that the seemingly tasteless timing of this news just two weeks after Bowie’s passing was just unfortunate, but not planned as this had been in the pipeline for a while now.

Last Updated: January 25, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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