Director Scott Derrickson gives an update on Labyrinth 2, revealing the setback to making the sequel to the 35-year-old cult classic movie.
- Director Scott Derrickson reveals that the potential sequel to Labyrinth is facing hurdles due to a lack of balance in the script’s vision and the studio’s expectations.
- The original Labyrinth gained a cult following over time despite initial mixed reviews, but bringing a sequel to life has proven challenging for various directors.
- Striking a tonal balance between the original’s mix of humor and darkness, as well as finding a captivating actor to fill David Bowie’s shoes, are key difficulties faced by the potential Labyrinth sequel.
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A potential Labyrinth 2 receives a disappointing update from director Scott Derrickson. The 1986 musical fantasy brought together Jim Henson, George Lucas, and Monty Python’s Terry Jones and saw iconic pop star David Bowie take on the role of the powerful Goblin King Jareth. In Labyrinth, Jennifer Connelly’s fantasy-loving teen Sarah is pulled into a twisted fairy tale world when she accidentally wishes for the Goblin King to take away her baby stepbrother, Toby.
With just over three years since Derrickson signed on to direct Labyrinth 2 in May 2020, the Doctor Strange and The Black Phone director has shared an unfortunate update on the potential sequel with ComicBook.com. Revealing that he had no idea what the studios had planned, Derrickson explained that despite feeling proud of what he did, the script never reached a point where a balance was stuck between the studio’s vision and how he felt the sequel should be faithful to the tone of the original. Check out Derrickson’s full explanation below:
“I don’t know what’s happening with that. We never got the script all the way to a place where the studio wanted to make it, but I was very proud of the work that we did on it. And it’s a hard, hard project to turn into something commercially viable, because it’s so imaginative and surreal that there’s no way that it can be done cheaply. And at the same time, it’s so daring and different that it is a tough movie for a studio to feel competent that it has enough commercial value to earn a profit. So I think that it’s a tough nut to crack, but all I can tell you is I’m very proud of the work that we did on it. We certainly had a great film in mind.”
What Is Bringing Labyrinth 2‘s Pre-Production To A Halt?
Despite an initial mixed response and underperformance at the domestic box office, Labyrinth would find its audience through television and home releases, with time ultimately being kinder to the cult classic and solidifying it as a fantasy favorite. As such, a sequel would seem like a safe bet following confirmation in 2016 that a continuation was in the works. Despite Connelly being in discussions to return as Sarah, the movie has been stuck in development hell since the announcement, with both Evil Dead‘s Fede Álvarez and now Derrickson facing trouble in bringing their visions to life.
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As noted by Derrickson, one aspect that could be troubling Labyrinth‘s production is striking a tonal balance. While the original movie has no shortage of humor, earworm musical numbers, and wondrous worlds, the movie also has plenty of moments that could be considered scary for their darker, more surreal, and suspenseful tone, elements that did ultimately help Labyrinth stand out among audiences and earn its reputations. However, studio heads wanting to create a movie with a wider appeal have likely clashed with creatives like Derrickson and Alvarez, who want to commit to their own visions.
Discussions about a sequel have often led to questions concerning which actor could follow in Bowie’s Jareth’s footsteps and create a captivating performance on the same level as the late pop star. However, Derrickson’s comments also highlight another difficulty that any sequel will face, as concerns around the movie’s tone have held pre-production back. As a result, the Labyrinth sequel now hits another setback, leaving doubts about whether the movie will even come to fruition.