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Dark Crystal: Images, Cast Revealed For Netflix Series

The first images have been revealed for Netflix's prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and fans of the classic 1982 film will find they have a familiar feel.

Netflix released the stills from the forthcoming ten-episode series today, along with an extensive cast list that boasts a staggering number of Hollywood heavy hitters. First announced in 2017, the series will focus on a trio of Gelflings, the peaceful, elf-like creatures of the planet Thra, who learn the secret of the dark power held by the Skeksis, the vulture-like beings who will eventually come to be bent on the extermination of the Gelfling race. (You can view the minute-long teaser trailer which accompanied the initial announcement here.)

The 1982 flick was a dark fantasy conceived and directed by the late Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, and Frank Oz, his longtime puppeteer (and the man who gave life to Yoda in the Star Wars series). The plot centered on the quest of Jen, one of the last of the Gelflings, to restore a missing shard of the mysterious and powerful Dark Crystal, thereby reuniting the Gelflings and Skeksis (who are fractured halves of a singular race of beings) and restoring balance to their world.

The film was somewhat divisive upon its release, as Henson and Oz were known for material that was not quite so dark and heady. But the animatronics and special effects used to bring the Gelflings and Skeksis to life were widely considered to be groundbreaking, and the flick has amassed a considerable cult following in the intervening years.

Enter Netflix, who aims to hit the sweet spot of that fanbase by employing Henson-style puppeteering (courtesy of Jim Henson's Creature Shop) combined with modern visual effects in the service of a longer-form story exploring the background of the conflict which nearly destroyed Thra. The official synopsis is as follows: "The world of Thra is dying. The Crystal of Truth is at the heart of Thra, a source of untold power. But it is damaged, corrupted by the evil Skeksis, and a sickness spreads across the land. When three Gelflings uncover the horrific truth behind the power of the Skeksis, an adventure unfolds as the fires of rebellion are lit and an epic battle for the planet begins."

The series is being directed by Louis Leterrier (The Transporter, The Incredible Hulk), and a message to the fans from the director which was posted to the official Dark Crystal website promises a vision strongly in keeping with the original film. "As a filmmaker, one of my earliest influences was Jim Henson's masterpiece The Dark Crystal, a movie that brought to life a universe rich in detail and teeming with incredible characters," the director wrote. "As I envision Age of Resistance, I am most excited about joining today's film techniques with the practical visual effects that are such an integral part of The Dark Crystal – the artistry, the craftsmanship, the performances, and of course the puppets! It is a gift and an honor to work alongside the teams at The Jim Henson Company and Netflix [and] the artists at Jim Henson's Creature Shop... as we begin this new adventure."

Fans had every reason to be pumped even before today's announcement of the complete cast, which is quite simply astonishing. According to Collider, included among the series' voice talent are (pardon us while we take a deep breath): Taron Egerton (of the Kingsman series), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Helena Bonham-Carter (Ocean's Eight), Eddie Izzard (Hannibal), Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Keegan-Michael Key (half of the comedy duo Key & Peele), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine), Simon Pegg (of the Star Trek reboot series), and Mark freaking Hamill (we're pretty sure you know who he is). 

With a cast like that, and a guiding hand in Leterrier who counts the original film among his greatest influences, it's tough to see how this could go wrong. While there is no official release date yet, the series is expected to debut on Netflix sometime in 2019. In the meantime, check out the new images below, which should set the hearts of Dark Crystal fans a-flutter.