Brian Henson Updates Labyrinth and Dark Crystal Sequels
Every few years it seems there’s talk about a Labyrinth sequel, but now it seems more serious with Nicole Perlman writing a script. This weekend was the 30th-anniversary celebration of the original Labyrinth at DragonCon in Atlanta, where we got to speak with Brian Henson about the classic Jim Henson film. It sounds like perhaps reports of Perlman’s script aren’t quite as serious, although there may be some good news for Dark Crystal fans.
“We’re not commenting on anything right now,” Henson said. “We’ve talked more about further exploring the Dark Crystal world and that we’re developing in several different directions. The Labyrinth world and Labyrinth we are approaching more cautiously.”
A follow-up to Labyrinth would indeed be sensitive as many of the principal talent are no longer with us, not only Jim Henson but David Bowie, whom we lost earlier this year. Labyrinth gained its popularity after its theatrical release, so based on the initial box office a sequel would not have been considered. But Henson said his dad didn’t tend to think of Labyrinth as a world to revisit frequently with sequels anyway.
“Not necessarily,” Henson said. “I don’t think he ever created that way. When he was creating Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, it’s an immersive experience for him. It’s an entire world-building experience. If he really loved it, he might do another one, but he wasn’t much of a sequel maker anyway.”
Even with his popular television projects, Jim Henson would leave others to continue them while he focused on something new. “He was the guy that stopped making The Muppet Show after five seasons even though it was a huge worldwide success because he wanted to do something else,” Henson said. “He didn’t really think regarding trying to do one thing over and over and over. In fact, there are now eight Muppet movies. He made two enthusiastically. The third one, Muppets Take Manhattan, he felt very good about, but that was why in 1989 he was selling the company to Disney because he wanted the Muppets to go into the theme parks. He didn’t necessarily want to keep making Muppet movies. Like Sesame Street, he loved that Sesame Street kept going and going, but he worked really hard for the first two, three seasons and then he really let go. He would drop in and do a little shooting every year for a week or two, but he was somebody that was always moving onto the next thing, moving onto the next idea, the next idea.”
We’ll have the full interview with Brian Henson with all my 30 years worth of questions about Labyrinth later in September, along with a review of the 30th anniversary Blu-ray of Labyrinth out September 20. Labyrinth returns to theaters via Fathom Events September 11 and 14.