labyrinth sequel director

After all these years, Labyrinth still has the power of voodoo over us. Jim Henson‘s 1986 cult hit is getting a long-awaited sequel, which has been in the works under TriStar Pictures in some form since at least 2014. But after hiring Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez to helm the sequel in 2017, TriStar Pictures has found a new filmmaker to dance, magic, dance into the director’s chair. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who recently left Marvel over creative differences with Doctor Strange 2, has been tapped to helm the Labyrinth sequel.

Deadline reports that Scott Derrickson has been tapped by TriStar Pictures to direct the long-in-the-works Labyrinth sequel. Derrickson takes over from Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez, who was tapped to helm the project back in 2017 and appeared to be working on the film with a complete script as recently as 2018. But then we heard not a word about the Labyrinth sequel, which will now be apparently taking on a new direction with Derrickson at the helm and Maggie Levin (Hulu’s Into the Dark: My Valentine) penning the script.

Derrickson recently parted ways with Marvel after successfully bringing Doctor Strange, one of the MCU’s weirder and more fantastical films, to the screen. His experience on the surreal Marvel film will hopefully lend a hand in bringing a Labyrinth sequel to life. After all, the sequel comes with high expectations. The 1986 original film directed by Jim Henson was a bizarre and beautiful fantasy film that was catapulted to cult status thanks to Henson’s magical array of puppets and David Bowie‘s bewitching, impish performance and tight leather pants. There are very few people who could give the same type of sexually charged androgynous energy as Bowie, apart from maybe Tilda Swinton, who has worked with Derrickson before in Doctor Strange.

Derrickson’s other credits veer more toward straightforward horror, which seems to be the kind of director TriStar Pictures is looking for with the Labyrinth sequel. But Derrickson is still a far better choice than Alvarez, who has shown a talent for claustrophobic horror, while Derrickson has proven he can play with the surreal with Doctor Strange.

The Jim Henson Company still remains heavily involved with the Labyrinth sequel, with Lisa Henson producing and Brian Henson executive producing. Still, with CG technology advancing as it has in the past 30-plus years, it makes you wonder whether the Jim Henson Company’s involvement will guarantee the use of the puppets that made Labyrinth so memorable. It’s possible that we could see a more high-tech version of Henson puppetry, with the company experimenting with a combination of animatronics, digital renders, and old-school puppetry.

Netflix’s stellar sequel series The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance used a mix of puppetry and more modern techniques to great success, with the company emphasizing how the series maintains the spirit of the original film, which doesn’t have nearly the following that Labyrinth has. So it’s likely we’ll get old-school Henson puppets again, just with a more high-tech finish.

Derrickson is executive producing Labyrinth 2 with his frequent collaborator C. Robert Cargill. Blanca Lisa, vice president of feature film production, is shepherding the project for The Jim Henson Company.

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