The David Bowie fantasy film may be one of the most underappreciated films in its genre and we have to give credit to the Jim Henson company that brought it too life. Since Henson left us, puppeteering in films is pretty much nonexistent, and if it is there it just doesn’t compare to the work Henson was known for.
The original Labyrinth is a dark fantasy-musical that stars Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly. The story tells about a teenage girl named Sarah (Connelly) and how she has to watch her baby brother, but wishes for him to be taken away by goblins. Alas, the baby vanishes and a fantastical adventure through a mysterious labyrinth ensues. A sequel, reboot, and reimagining have all been discussed over the years at the Henson company, but nothing came about it. Now, it looks like the film will be a sequel and will be directed by none other than Don’t Breathe’s Fede Alverez who was bound to get tons of work after his outstanding efforts on his original film.
Alverez was also signed on to direct a sequel slash reboot of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with its sequel The Girl in the Spider’s Web. He will work on the script for the Labyrinth sequel with Jay Basu (Monsters: Dark Continent). When Alverez discussed signing on for the sequel, he had this to say:
“Labyrinth is one of the seminal movies from my childhood that made me fall in love with filmmaking. I couldn’t be more thrilled to expand on Jim Henson’s mesmerizing universe, and take a new generation of moviegoers back into the Labyrinth.”
We know nothing about the story that will technically make this a sequel and with Henson passing in 1990, Bowie last year, and Connelly seemingly missing from good Hollywood pictures, I don’t expect there to be too much connection with original characters such as Sarah (Connelly) and Jareth (Bowie) beyond references. Having Alverez direct a sequel for me means that they are definitely keeping all the creepy elements that made the original film so iconic. With Alverez being a horror director thus far, it would make sense that his take on the film modernizes the weird imagery of hands that talk, dancing fire birds, and goblins.
What made the film so iconic for most people was not just the puppetry, but the Bowie songs he sings during the film. Will Alverez try to incorporate music of Bowie’s into the production of the film or will this truly steer clear of Bowie overall and make him more just a strong referential character for whomever the characters end up being?