Fantasy, sci-fi, comic fans and lovers of all things Jim Henson are in for a treat! In an exclusive interview for Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life, graphic novel publisher, Archaia announced plans for a graphic novel prequel to Jim Henson’s film, Labyrinth. Labyrinth tells the story of 15-year old Sara, who resents her stepmother and is tired of always having to watch her baby step-brother Toby. She spends much of her time imagining a fantasy world where she is a princess and the Goblin King has fallen in love with her. One night, in a moment of irritation while babysitting Toby she wishes for the goblins to take him away. Thus begins her journey into the Labyrinth to find and rescue him from the Goblin King. A collaboration between Jim Henson and well-known fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, Labyrinth was released in 1986 and starred larger than life music icon David Bowie in a memorable leather clad performance as the Goblin King, Jareth, alongside an up and coming Jennifer Connelly as Sara.
The upcoming prequel intends to focus on Jareth before he became the Goblin King and events leading to that point. According to EW, Archaia editor-in-chief, Stephen Christy explained “It’s the story of how Jareth is brought into the Labyrinth for the first time. So, it doesn’t deal with Sarah, it doesn’t deal with Toby or anything like that.” Production is set to take place over the next twelve months with concept, character and cover designs to be overseen by Froud who Christy describes as “…a key ingredient in the mix,…”
Part of a genre of sci-fi/fantasy blending live actors, animation, animatronics and puppetry including other Henson films such as the Dark Crystal, Labyrinth was not a critical success but had and continues to have a strong cult following across multiple audiences, arguably becoming more greatly appreciated over the years. I expect fans like myself will be eagerly awaiting the prequel.
In the meantime, fantasy lovers can get their fix at the first U.S. exhibit of Brian Froud’s work on view now at the Animazing Gallery through February 12, 2012 located at 54 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013.