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SYFY WIRE labyrinth

All hail the Goblin King! Scott Derrickson set to direct long-awaited Labyrinth sequel

By Josh Weiss
Scott Derrickson Labyrinth

Despite losing out on the Doctor Strange 2 gig, director Scott Derrickson has found a most worthy replacement. According to Deadline, the filmmaker has been hired by TriStar Pictures to helm the long-awaited sequel to Jim Henson's Labyrinth. Maggie Levin, the scribe of Into the Dark and My Valentine for Hulu, is writing the screenplay.

Released in the summer of 1986, Labyrinth was a dark fairy tale about a young girl (Jennifer Connelly) who must rescue her baby brother from the clutches of Jareth, the dreaded Goblin King (David Bowie). Like The Dark Crystal four years prior, the film — written by Terry Jones and produced by George Lucas — was another great showcase for Henson's wizardry with practical puppets. In addition, it offered the chance to introduce some music into the story by utilizing Bowie's star power and talent. The title refers to a winding maze the main character must navigate in order to reach her goal.

Similar to Dark CrystalDragonslayer, Return to Oz, and Something Wicked This Way ComesLabyrinth was one of those '80s movies for kids that was way scarier than it had any right to be. It turned out to be a box-office and critical dud, but has gained a powerful cult following over the years, living on through video games, comics, RPGs, and a potential stage musical.

Talk of a big-screen sequel began in 2016 when Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) was tapped to write a script for a direct follow-up. The following spring, Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, Don't Breathe) was hired as director. He offered an update on the screenplay in the fall of 2018, but that's where the updates stopped.

Henson's children, Lisa and Brian, are executive-producing the latest sequel effort on behalf of The Jim Henson Company. Derrickson is also attached as an executive producer alongside his usual writing partner, C. Robert Cargill.

There are obviously no casting announcements to report on this early in the process, but the movie certainly has the option to bring back Connelly as an adult version of Sarah Williams for a serious nostalgia rush. Furthermore, it can blend old-school effects with modern-day CGI (hopefully with more emphasis on the former), just like The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.