Horror film director Fede Alvarez is taking on a decidedly lighter subject for his next film: a follow-up to Jim Henson’s classic 1986 musical, Labyrinth.
The Jim Henson Company has been working on a sequel to Labyrinth for years, with various writers and directors coming and going. Production on the new film never seems to get much further than the planning stages, though that could soon change.
Only days after the death of Labyrinth star David Bowie last year, the studio announced they were working on a “reboot” of the beloved film. The timing of the announcement was met with great resentment by fans.
In announcing Alvarez as the new director, the studio stressed that the new film will not be a remake or a reboot. Rather, it’s a new story that takes place within the same universe. Although they didn’t specifically use the word “spin-off,” that’s how many are describing the new film.
Alvarez, who directed Don’t Breathe and the 2013 remake of Evil Dead, will helm the new Labyrinth film from a script by Jay Basu. The two are currently collaborating on The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the follow-up to 2011’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The original Labyrinth starred Jennifer Connelly as a 16-year-old girl who is forced to travel to a fantasy kingdom to rescue her baby brother from Jareth, the Goblin King, played by Bowie. Jareth will not be a part of the new film.
It was a box office failure upon its release and Henson sadly passed away a few years after it was released. However, it has become a cult favorite over the years with fans young and old.
Technically speaking, this isn’t even the first follow-up to Labyrinth. Between 2006 and 2010, Tokyopop published four volumes of a manga comic called Return to Labyrinth. The story involved a now teenaged Toby who is tricked by Jareth into returning to the Labyrinth.
Production on the new Labyrinth film is expected to begin sometime next year, once The Girl in the Spider’s Web is complete.