Jim Henson's Classic 80s Film LABYRINTH is Being Developed as a Stage Musical
In all honesty, I'm surprised that it has actually taken so long to take Jim Hanson's classic 80s film Labyrinth and develop it as a live stage musical. The movie has always seemed ripe for a stage musical and now Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson and Chairman of The Jim Henson Company, reveals that they are now developing that musical based on the cult classic fantasy film.
There have been rumors of a Labyrinth sequel for years, but when David Bowie passed away in 2016 it seemed like any hope of a sequel faded away. There is a Labyrinth comic book in the works that will explore the origins of The Goblin King, and now there's this musical, so fans will still have some Labyrinth entertainment to dive into.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Brian Henson had this to say about the possible sequel and upcoming musical:
"There isn’t really an update [on a sequel]. I can say we are still excited about it but the process moves very slowly and very carefully. We’re still excited about the idea of a sequel, we are working on something but nothing that’s close enough to say it’s about to be in pre-production or anything like that. We are working on a theatrical adaptation of the original movie for the stage. Those are the two areas of excitement for the Labyrinth property that we have. We are working on both of those but I certainly don’t have a timeline for them."
When asked if he thinks the musical will go to Broadway, Henson says:
"Not necessarily Broadway, it could be for London’s West End, but it will be a stage show, a big theatrical version. It’s very exciting."
Henson went on to talk about the demos of songs that David Bowie brought in early in the production of the film and how Bowie and Jim Henson had a very similar and powerful artistic drive:
"I remember when David brought his demos, his first passes at the songs, and they were so beautiful. We were used to demos that would be a singer and a piano or a singer and a guitar but David had someone like the Harlem Boys Choir singing backup. He had these beautifully produced tracks and I remember my dad was very impressed and was like, 'Well, there you go! There’s a guy who’s kind of like me.' My father couldn’t do something kind of halfway, he had to do it as big and as good as he could make it and David was very similar. They both had a very similar, powerful artistic drive."
Unfortunately, Henson has no idea where those demos are! It'd be great if one day they actually surfaced.
I'm actually very excited about the idea of seeing a Labyrinth musical. With all of the songs and the crazy awesome effort being put into the sets and creature designs for stage plays like this these days, this thing could turn out to be a visually amazing and entertaining production.
The big thing is... who in the world would be able to fill the shoes of David Bowie as The Goblin King in a film sequel or a stage musical?