Losing David Bowie was one of the roughest ways 2016 could have started. The man was a legend in every sense of the word, and his influence and presence will continue to be felt long after you and I have shuffled off this mortal coil. Besides his phenomenal music, Bowie was also a steady actor (and a damn good one) that was always a delight to watch on screen. One of his landmark performances was in Jim Henson‘s Labyrinth as Jareth, the Goblin King. Many an impressionable youth was drawn into the character’s overtly sexual charisma, and Bowie crafted a villain that was equally unnerving and delightful to watch. It’s a performance that cannot be topped.
So it’s with some trepidation that I report the news about a Labyrinth reboot that’s in the works. Coming so close to Bowie’s passing, this can’t help but put off some aura of crassness. Thankfully, there’s some good news — Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman is attached to write the script. Perlman did an excellent job balancing the bizarre and the approachable in that film, so I hope she brings that same vibe to this project.
Considering that Labyrinth was a commercial disappointment when it released (the negative response turned Jim Henson off of feature directing), I’m wondering what the thinking behind this reboot is. Do they try and recast Jareth with another crossover talent? Do they revamp the entire thing so it’s primarily Labyrinth in name only? There’s a lot of ways this thing could go.
Part of Labyrinth‘s charm is in its effects and style (those creepy Helping Hands. *shudder*), and I can see some of that getting lost in a torrent of CGI. I’ll feel more assured or worried when a direct is announced.
Still, no one is going to be able to step into Bowie’s shoes. I hope the filmmakers figure that out sooner rather than later and adapt the story appropriately. There’s only one Jareth, and that’s the Thin White Duke.
Get lost over in the Labyrinth Wiki where you can learn all you’d ever want to know about the 1986 cult classic.