As Jim Henson's 1986 film Labyrinth has grown in reputation over the years, discussion of a potential sequel or other tie-in movie has persisted both as a rumor and legitimate attempts by The Jim Henson Company to capitalize on its popularity.
Strong DVD sales of Labyrinth prompted the Jim Henson Company and Sony Pictures to look into making a sequel to Labyrinth in the early 2000s. The Curse of the Goblin King was briefly used as a tentative title for such a project and Brian Froud was contacted to provide conceptual designs and guidance once again.
However, the decision was ultimately made to avoid making a direct sequel to the film, and instead produce a fantasy film with a similar atmosphere that could stand along side the other titles in the Henson Company's library of fantasy films. Producer Michael Polis stated that the project became "something probably more closely associated with 'Labyrinth' in terms of style and substance." Fantasy author Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean were hired to write and direct a film similar in spirit to Labyrinth and the fantasy film MirrorMask was produced by the Jim Henson Company and released in 2005.
In October 2014, news spread that a sequel to Labyrinth was in the works. An article published in Variety on Which Witch — a film in-development at the time with The Jim Henson Company — mentioned a Labyrinth sequel among other projects being developed by the studio.
“It's also working on a quartet of legacy titles in the Henson library — a “Fraggle Rock” movie that’s been in development at New Regency; a sequel to 1982’s “The Dark Crystal”; a sequel to 1986’s “Labyrinth”; and a movie based on the Emmet Otter character.”
Many news sites picked up on the Labyrinth sequel news which spread viraly across the Internet. Toby Froud, son of conceptual designer Brian Froud and who played Toby in the original film, tweeted of the reports: "I'm just finding out about the Labyrinth sequel myself. Very excited for the potential Froud, Henson collaboration!"
However the Jim Henson Company cleared things up to Entertainment Weekly a day later. According to sources:
“There are currently no plans to reboot, revive, or make a sequel to Labyrinth. It’s one of those legacy titles that is floated at most meetings, but, sadly, nothing is actually in development at the moment.”
Two years after Henson released a statement denying that a Labyrinth-related movie was in the works, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the movie would be rebooted with a script from Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman. The news came just twelve days following the death of Labyrinth star David Bowie. Lisa Henson was named as a producer on the film which would be overseen by Nicole Brown at TriStar Pictures.
Fifteen months later, Deadline announced that Fede Alvarez would direct the project from a script he would co-write with Jay Basu (previously announced screenwriter Nicole Perlman's name was omitted from the report). Deadline elaborated that the film would not be a reboot or a sequel, but rather a story within the universe of the original film. Alvarez commented on his "completed" script in an October 2018 Fandango interview, confirming the project as "a direct continuation of the first movie many years later."
Alvarez appeared on the "Boo Crew" podcast in 2020 where he announced he had left the project.
With the Alvarez/Perlman version of the movie in limbo, the project again gained some steam after Deadline reported that a sequel was in development with Tristar Pictures. After splitting with Marvel Studios over creative differences on a sequel to his 2016 Doctor Strange movie, Scott Derrickson was announced to helm the Labyrinth sequel with a script from Maggie Levin.
In 2006, Tokyopop released a sequel manga entitled Return to Labyrinth. The four-part story was written by Jake T. Forbes and illustrated by Chris Lie. The story takes place fifteen years after the events of the original film and centers on Toby, who is now a teenager himself. Jareth sends his minions to capture Toby and return him to the Labyrinth to take his place as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom.
In 2011, Archaia Studios Press began development on a graphic novel that would serve as a prequel to the original 1986 film. The book was to tell "the story of how Jareth became the Goblin King" and featured a young Jareth who is taken to the Labyrinth by a witch. Release was planned for early-2014, however the comic has yet to be released.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Comic Book Resources "Putting on the MirrorMask: Executive Producer Michael Polis on the film" by CBR Staff, August 6, 2004
- ↑ Stylus Magazine "Movie Review: Mirrormask" by Jen Cameron, October 26, 2005
- ↑ Variety "Billy Crystal Joins Henson Co.'s Which Witch" by Dave McNary, October 9, 2014
- ↑ Newsweek "A Labyrinth Sequel Reportedly in the Works" by Paula Mejia, October 10, 2014
- ↑ Nerdist "Dance Magic Dance Again?" by Kyle Anderson, October 10, 2014
- ↑ MoviePhone "Is There Finally a Labyrinth Sequel in the Works?" by Jenni Miller, October 10, 2014
- ↑ Twitter @Toby_Froud October 10, 2014
- ↑ Entertainment Weekly "Labyrinth sequel in the works? Not exactly" by Lindsey Bahr, October 10, 2014
- ↑ The Hollywood Reporter "David Bowie's Labyrinth to Get Reboot With Guardians of the Galaxy Co-Writer" by Borys Kit, January 22, 2016
- ↑ Deadline "TriStar Rebirths World Of Labyrinth: Spider Web's Fede Alvarez & Jay Basu Aboard" by Mike Fleming Jr, April 13, 2017
- ↑ Fandango "Director Fede Alvarez Says The Labyrinth Sequel Has a Script and Is Moving Forward" by Erik Davis, Oct 25, 2018
- ↑ Epic Stream "Former Labyrinth 2 Director Explains his Departure from Fantasy Sequel" by Nobelle Borines, April 30, 2020
- ↑ Deadline "Scott Derrickson Set To Direct Labyrinth Sequel" by Mike Fleming Jr, May 26, 2020
- ↑ Entertainment Weekly "Labyrinth graphic novel" by James Gartler, January 6, 2012
- ↑ LA Weekly "Archaia Brings Lost Jim Henson Screenplay to Life with A Tale of Sand" by Liz Ohanesian, August 23, 2011
- ↑ ToughPigs "ToughPigs at NYCC 2011" by Joe Hennes, October 22, 2011