Labyrinth (1986)
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Dream Casting: Labyrinth

Contributed by
Sep 12, 2019

Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.

For fantasy fans, one of the most exciting Netflix releases of the summer has been The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel series based on Jim Henson's 1982 film The Dark Crystal. It's respectful to the original work while expanding it in directions that would have been unimaginable in 1982. That got me thinking, what if Netflix and the Hensons decided to follow that up by doing a series based on Jim's other great 1980s fantasy, Labyrinth. Labyrinth is very different, in that it's much more lighthearted, features human characters, and it's a musical, but I have some ideas about how to make it work.

Rather than a prequel, a new Labyrinth should be a loose sequel, featuring a new teen character from the present visiting the world of the Labyrinth and encountering the characters from the original film, as well as new ones. There will have to be a new ruler for that world, since David Bowie is no longer with us, but I think I've found a worthy successor. The plot I've envisioned for the series will become more clear as we explore the cast I've put together.

Sophia Lillis as the girl from Earth

Sophia Lillis as the protagonist

Sophia Lillis (It) is one of the most prominent teen actors working today, and she'd make a great lead for this kind of project. To be clear, she won't be playing Sarah. She'll be playing a teen girl in the present who goes into the Labyrinth in search of her long lost mother, who used to tell her stories about it when she was little.

Janelle Monae as the Goblin Queen

Janelle Monáe as the Goblin Queen

There's no Jareth in this project, because it's impossible to imagine anyone but David Bowie playing that part. Janelle Monáe would play a new Goblin Queen, who's become ruler of the Labyrinth and the world beyond since Jareth's fall.

John Mulaney as Hoggle

John Mulaney as Hoggle

John Mulaney (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse) seems like he'd be able to do a similar Hoggle voice to the original, plus everything he does is just funny.

Hugh Bonneville as the Worm

Hugh Bonneville as the Worm

Who better to play a friendly English worm than Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Paddington), and maybe this time around we'll finally get to meet the Missus.

Braun Strowman as Ludo

Braun Strowman as Ludo

I'm not casting WWE wrestler Braun Strowman for his size, since Ludo's physical form will presumably still be operated by puppeteers. Instead, I'm casting him for his voice, which often takes on a rumbling, monstrous quality that's perfect for Ludo.

Taika Waititi as Sir Didymus

Taika Waititi as Sir Didymus

Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, JoJo Rabbit) is a great director, but he's also a really funny actor, and he could definitely handle voicing the high energy and very full-of-himself fox/terrier/knight who calls himself Sir Didymus.

Ian McKellen as the Wiseman

Ian McKellen as the Wiseman

Ian McKellen (X-Men, The Hobbit) can bring exactly the perfect mix of gravitas and fumbling weariness to the character of the Wiseman.

Ben Schwartz as the Bird

Ben Schwartz as the Wiseman's Hat

As you'll recall from the movie, the Wiseman has a bird on his hat that incessantly makes fun of him, and that seems like the sort of part Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation, Ducktales) was born to play.

Sally Hawkins as the Junk Woman

Sally Hawkins as the Junk Lady

The scene with the Junk Lady who tries to get Sarah to abandon her quest is one of the most unsettling moments in the original film, and Sally Hawkins (Paddington, The Shape of Water) can being a whole new level to the character.

Jennifer Connelly as Sarah

Jennifer Connelly as Sarah

When the main character finds her mother in the Labyrinth, it would be great if that mother was Sarah, from the original movie, who of course would be played by the same actress, Jennifer Connelly.


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