The ambitious, picturesque 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth is an untouchable cult classic that brandished the puppet creations of its director, the late, great Jim Henson and famously depicted the late rock icon David Bowie as the villainous Jareth the Goblin King. However, it was, initially, a monumental failure, earning an abysmal $12.7 million total against its $25 million budget! Now, over 30 years later, its cult momentum has superseded its box-office ignominy with a major spinoff movie in the works!
According to Deadline, TriStar Pictures are opting to build upon the mythos of 1986’s Labyrinth with a film that takes place in the same universe of Jim Henson’s increasingly appreciated fantasy epic. The studio have reportedly tasked horror visionary Fede Alavarez to direct the film, working off a script by Jay Basu. The team-up serves as a quick reunion, since the duo of Alvarez and Basu are currently working on the upcoming (apparently, Rooney Mara-less) continuation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web. As Alvarez reacts:
“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.”
While details on the Labyrinth spinoff are scarce, the report stresses that it will not take the conventional route of being a remake/reboot. Rather, plans are apparently in place to create a story within the existing framework of the 1986 movie mythos, while likely avoiding any direct connection to the events of the movie. The original film depicted teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) on a perilous other-worldly journey through a maze to rescue her infant brother from the clutches of the Goblin King (Bowie) after she impulsively wished the child to be taken away in a moment of anger. Indeed, in the spirit of being a non-sequel spinoff, the report emphasizes that we will not be seeing Bowie’s Goblin King – either as a sacrilegious CGI concoction, or played by anyone else – in the new film.
Story continuation aspect aside, the Labyrinth spinoff will leave Alvarez with mighty big shoes to fill, stepping into the director’s chair to remake the world of Jim Henson’s beloved 1986 film. With the Uruguayan helmer’s resume known for horror films such as 2016’s Don’t Breathe and its gestating sequel and a shockingly disturbing franchise remake in 2013’s Evil Dead, Alvarez will cross into a fantastical new genre frontier, working off the now-familiar written work of his The Girl in the Spider’s Web scribe in Jay Basu, who’s also working on the script for the film adaptation of the popular video game series Metal Gear Solid.
While the Labyrinth spinoff hasn’t indicated a proper title, it will likely have one soon, since the project is reportedly already casting and set to commence production this fall.