‘Labyrinth’ Reboot in the Works With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Co-Writer, Seriously
It was less than two weeks ago that David Bowie passed away, presumably returning to the great, wide, weird galaxies of space from which he came — which makes this particular bit of news TOO SOON. Tri-Star and Jim Henson Co. are rebooting Labyrinth, Jim Henson’s classic 1986 fantasy film that introduced an entire generation of oblivious kids to the magic of David Bowie. On the good news side of things, Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman has been tapped to write the screenplay. So that’s something? Maybe?
THR reports that Perlman, who is also co-writing the upcoming Captain Marvel solo film with Inside Out scribe Meg LeFauve, has been hired to develop the screenplay for the Labyrinth remake / reboot / whatever-you-want-to-call-it-this-is-still-too-soon.
The original film centered on Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah, an ungrateful teen tasked with babysitting her infant step-brother. Sarah wishes for the Goblin King of her favorite fantasy novel to take her crying sibling away and relieve her of responsibility. And then he actually does.
Portrayed by Bowie, Jareth the Goblin King is enigmatic, alluring and dangerous, and sends Sarah on a surreal quest into the heart of the labyrinth to retrieve her brother — though she finds herself falling under the Goblin King’s spell in the process.
I have no doubt that Perlman can make something special out of this source material, but there’s so much more to Labyrinth than mere narrative. For one, Henson utilized charming and detailed puppetry, practical effects and sets to tell the story of Sarah’s journey; hopefully, with Jim Henson Co. actively involved, that integrity will be maintained.
Then there’s the matter of Bowie’s incomparable portrayal of Jareth — replacing him is out of the question, as there are no contemporary pop stars to equal or even rival Bowie. The smart decision would be casting Tilda Swinton, as she’s pretty much the only actor who could honor and evoke Bowie, and still deliver a performance that is entirely new.
Although no story details have been revealed, there have been occasional rumors of a sequel to Labyrinth over the last several years. It’s unclear if this story would be more of a “legacyquel” or if it would reboot the cult classic film entirely. Studios, take note: Tilda Swinton or GTFO.