Back in August of last year, Jim Henson‘s son, Brian, revealed that Fraggle Rock and a sequel to The Dark Crystal were very much alive and in developmental stages.
A sequel to 1982’s Dark Crystal had been talked about for as long as can be remembered, but with little successful movement to show for it. When we last heard about it in the link above, all that was shared was that the sequel would be called The Power of the Dark Crystal, and it would take place centuries after the first film. Story-wise, it would be about a girl named Thurma — who is made of fire and lives at the center of the planet — who is on a mission to obtain a shard of the crystal in hopes of re-igniting the dying sun.
Now comes word via a press release sent out today that not only is the movie still alive, but it has a new director(s) and a new writer on board to make it happen. Brothers Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig have been signed to direct the movie, and Craig Pearce has been tapped to rework the script based on an earlier draft.
The Spierig brothers have only a few previous titles under their belt, including the recent science fiction vampire horror flick, Daybreakers. The duo were also reported to be directing a strange remake of the classic Errol Flynn pirate classic, Captain Blood, that would be set in space. In an odd contrast of talents, Pearce is mostly known for writing musical productions like Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Moulin Rouge.
Now, there does seem to be a catch to all of this. As long as there’s been talks of all of these new productions involving Jim Henson’s brilliant puppets, it’s always seemed that they would remain faithful to the styles of old. In the press release today, however, certain things strike fear into hearts of Henson purists.
For one, it was noted that the movie would be in 3D, which is an automatic flaw of epic proportions. No one who has an emotional attachment to these titles and who have longed for a sequel for years and years wants anything to do with 3D right now. That’s screwing with a recipe that worked, and it’s screwing with people’s nostalgia. Not smart. Secondly, it seems that motion capture and CGI technologies could be used along with all the puppets and animatronics that will be built in order to make the world even more realistic.
Here’s the quote:
This is a chance to take the world of puppetry into the modern age by using modern techniques (like motion capture CGI) and the tried and true methods (like puppetry and animatronics) to create a one hundred percent real world that is unique to The Dark Crystal.
This is where I can personally make a compromise. 3D is an automatically stupid move, and I think it would be a massive mistake to bother with such a novelty. But when it comes to motion capture and CGI, I am open to minimal usage. When you look at what was accomplished in Where the Wild Things Are combining puppets/costumes and these computer technologies, it was brilliant. If they use them to this effect and simply as a tool for bringing the puppets to life and highlighting the world they live in, that could work very well.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this movie will ever actually happen, and are you open to today’s technologies being implicated?