Rumors have been swirling for years around the possibility of a Labyrinth sequel. The cult classic starring David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly came out in 1986. It was among a pantheon of fantasy films that influenced a generation. Now, over 30 years since the release of the original film, a sequel finally appears to be on the way. Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) is onboard to direct the sequel, after he quit Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness. Maggie Levin also signed on to write the screenplay.
Could Return To Labyrinth Be Used As Source Material?
There have been a number of unofficial sequels to Labyrinth over the years, primarily in the form of manga. In 2006 Tokyopop published a four-part series titled Return To Labyrinth. This series centers around Toby, the baby who was stolen by the Goblin King in the original film. It takes place years after the events of Labyrinth when Toby is a teenager. Jareth lures Toby back into the Labyrinth, with the intention of making him the next Goblin King.
Image via Tokyopop
The manga series was pretty highly acclaimed from what I remember. Is it possible that Levin and Derrickson will draw from this source material for a sequel? It certainly makes sense to shift focus to Toby, although it unlikely that Toby Froud (son of the original artists Brian and Wendy Froud who played the baby in the film) will reprise his role. However Toby Froud has made a career for himself as a filmmaker and puppeteer. It would be a great idea to bring him on in some capacity, even if it is not to reprise the role he played as an infant.
Who Will Be The Goblin King In The New Labyrinth?
Image via the Jim Henson Company
Obviously with the death of David Bowie in 2016, he will not be returning to reprise his role as Jareth the Goblin King. I have seen other recommendations for who should play a new Goblin King online. My personal favorite fancasting is Janelle Monae as the Goblin King/Queen. She’s got the genre credentials, and knows how to play spooky otherworldly characters. Would vote for Janelle Monae.
However we don’t have any details on what the plot of the Labyrinth sequel will be. Maybe there is no Goblin King anymore. Maybe the movie will be about the goblins trying to run their own land after overthrowing Jareth. Who knows. This is all rampant speculation.
What Will The Labyrinth Sequel Look Like?
Image via the Jim Henson Company
We know that the Jim Henson Company is involved in production of the Labyrinth sequel. And after the success of The Dark Crystal on Netflix, we can only hope that Derrickson will follow a similar route. Because the Labyrinth needs puppets. I don’t want a CGI Labyrinth. I want practical effects done well, I want puppets, I want the Frouds to be involved. This is the only way to create a new Labyrinth film that is acceptable. Jennifer Connelly can come back if she wants, that would actually be pretty cool. We know that Derrickson has an established working relationship with her due to his work on the new Snowpiercer television series.
Oh and obviously there should be music. The Labyrinth soundtrack is an excellent David Bowie album, underrated in my opinion amongst Bowie’s body of work. This is another reason I’ll vote for Janelle Monae as a new Goblin King/Queen. She has the acting and the musical chops necessary to pull it off.
Come inside and have a nice cup of tea! | Image via the Jim Henson Company
But above all a new Labyrinth film has to evoke the spirit of the original. Darkly weird and funny, an escapist fantasy that works as a metaphor for growing up and claiming female power. We will definitely be following the development of this new film as time goes on.
What do you think of the Labyrinth sequel news? Do you have any favorite actors/musicians that you would like to see as the Goblin King? Join the conversation with Comic Years today on Facebook and Twitter to share your thoughts.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.