As I was getting ready for work today, I noticed something sticking out of my Jim Henson DVD collection that I forgot I kept. It was a leaflet advertisement for TokyoPop’s mangas based on the Henson titles The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. While I’m not very fond of the Dark Crystal Legends side of the advertisement, I was reminded why I kept this leaflet instead of throwing it out when I read the Return to Labyrinth preview.
And then I thought, why hasn’t this been made into a movie yet? Researching the manga provided the answer. It’s not finished, and they still have several volumes left to go. But what volumes that are finished sound interesting despite people critiquing the manga sequal as drawn out compared to the story in the film.
Basically, it takes place about thirteen years after the event of the Labyrinth, which is surprisingly very current given the fact the film did release thirteen years ago as of this year. Jareth (David Bowie) has been keeping an eye on Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) and her younger half-brother Toby for just as long. During this time, Sarah has locked away the events that happened in the film to her memory banks and has become a grade school teacher. Toby has grown up to be a rather rebellious teen with a personality similar to Sarah’s in the film.
Back at the Goblin Kingdom, the defeat of Jareth has caused whispers of revolt among the goblins, claiming that Jareth is loosing his power and someone should take over. We end up learning the origins of why the labyrinth was built as well as why Jareth was keeping an eye on Toby. That reason is because he needs an heir to the throne, and Toby is it.
The old cast of characters is said to make cameos in Toby’s adventures, specifically Ludo and Sir Didymus. Hoggle, unfortunately, did become Prince of the Bog of Eternal Stench after the film as Jareth said he would. The jerk. But you also get introduced to some new characters like the Goblin City Mayor and Jareth’s ex-wife Mizumi.
Mizumi plays a rather large role, since she is first in line to get Jareth’s throne due to a contractual bet not to dissimilar to the one made in the film. Basically, if Toby can find his way out of the labyrinth, not only does he get to go home but the Goblin Kingdom and its king (Jareth) are turned over to Mizumi for her to do as she wants. Talk about high stakes! And Jareth knows it! So much so that when it looks like he’s about to fail, he turns to the one person he know will help him, Sarah.
Now I ask you: what in what I have just presented doesn’t sound like a killer movie?
Bowie and Connelly both have aged appropriately for these roles, and having them reprise their roles would be as much fan service as restoring the Ludo costume/Muppet for practical use. Furthermore, the story is one that would engage both kids and adults who would see this film. You wouldn’t have to know the events of the previous film because they would be spelled out for you in the first ten minutes. And if the film is a box office success (which, c’mon, it would be
), that would put the Jim Henson Company back on the map with their old school puppetry in a way that Mirror Mask couldn’t.
If anyone reading this has connections to the Jim Henson Company, tell them to make this film already. And if you don't have connections to the company, tell your friends about this post and link them to it! Word needs to get out about this story and the film potential it has.