In this age of reboots, nothing has quite defied remaking as much as Jim Henson's beloved muppets. Other than the 2009 film where they starred beside Jason Segel, most reimaginings of these iconic felt and fur stars have fallen flat. That changed with 2019's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix, the first genuinely successful updating of a classic Henson property most thought could never be topped. In the wake of that success, other remakes of Henson-muppet based ideas are getting greenlit for TV, including Fraggle Rock. In film, there's a Labyrinth sequel coming, a project that's been long in the works.
There are films from the 1980s which remain so iconic that the idea of remaking them is a cardinal sin. The Princess Bride, for instance, immediately comes to mind, as does The Last Unicorn and Legend. Once upon a time, I would have put The Dark Crystal in that category as well, but Netflix's series was proof that maybe Henson classics can find new stories to tell in the 21st century.
Labyrinth is another of these iconic films that the very idea of a remake seems sacrilegious. David Bowie made a perfect Goblin King. Jennifer Connelly's performance as a problematic 16-year-old with a good heart is a reminder heroines don't have to be perfect for you to root for them.
It seems that those shooting towards a remake have known for a long time this would be a hard sell to fans of the original. Talk of a sequel has been kicking around Hollywood for the better part of a decade. But after years of rumors and different directors attached, the project is finally moving forward.
Scott Derrickson, who passed on reprising as director on Dr. Strange 2 over creative differences, has found a new fantasy franchise to take on. He has been set by TriStar Pictures to direct the sequel to Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Maggie Levin, who wrote and directed Into the Dark, and My Valentine for Hulu, will write the script.
There is currently no word if Connelly, currently starring in TNT's Snowpiercer, will make a cameo.
For those who are concerned with the idea of a Labyrinth remake, the good news is Lisa Henson, the woman behind The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, is producing. It suggests the film is in good hands, and the movie could live up to its predecessor — just as long as no one is foolish enough to think they can live up to David Bowie's Goblin King.