Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson is working on a sequel to Jim Henson‘s Labyrinth. Despite being a box office failure, Henson‘s 1986 fantasy musical was praised for its visual splendor upon its release and has garnered a cult fanbase. Following the passing of David Bowie (who famously played the androgynous – and musically inclined – Jareth, the Goblin King, in Henson’s movie) in 2016, it was reported The Jim Henson Company was actively working on a reboot of Labyrinth. Fortunately, the writer at the time, Nicole Perlman, was quick to clarify the project is really a continuation/sequel.
A year later, Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe filmmaker Fede Alvarez signed on to co-write and direct the Labyrinth sequel, but the project struggled to move forward after that and Alvarez subsequently stepped away to pursue other ventures. Fortunately, it appears his replacement has been found, and in the form of another director with a strong background in horror no less.
According to Deadline, TriStar Pictures has set Derrickson to helm the Labyrinth sequel. The filmmaker will draw from a script written by Maggie Levin, another storyteller who’s well-versed in the art of horror and has worked on projects like the “My Valentine” installment of Hulu‘s Into the Dark anthology series.
Before he joined the MCU, Derrickson made his name directing acclaimed horror films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister. He would later go on to helm Doctor Strange in 2016 and was set to return for its sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but stepped away earlier this year over creative differences. Derrickson‘s experience directing not only supernatural horror and fantasy movies, but also big studio films, makes him a fitting choice to bring the weird and – for moviegoers of a younger age – occasionally scary world of Labyrinth back to the big screen. Between his and Levin‘s involvement, Labyrinth 2 has the potential to dig even deeper into the original movie’s subtext about young female desire and deliver a story that’s possibly thematically richer than its predecessor’s, yet just as imaginative (similar to how last year’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance prequel series was praised for expanding and arguably improving upon Henson‘s other famous ’80s fantasy film).
Obviously, there are a lot of questions surrounding the Labyrinth sequel’s plot and whether it will bring the Goblin King back (and, if so, who will replace Bowie in his iconic role). There’s also the matter of Jennifer Connelly, who played the teenaged protagonist, Sarah Williams, in Henson‘s movie, and will hopefully be involved with this new film in some fashion. On top of that, the Labyrinth sequel’s spotty track record raises concerns about whether Derrickson will actually get to direct the movie or wind up stepping away in pre-production. With a little luck, that won’t happen and audiences will finally get to return to the Labyrinth universe in a few years (?) from now.