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Labyrinth 2 Development Details And More

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Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, "Labyrinth" audiences have remained steadfast and loyal to this 1986 cult classic featuring rock legend David Bowie and a whole host of puppets. This fantastical story about a young girl, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), who wishes her baby brother away into a magical maze was the last feature film Jim Henson directed before his death in 1990, and it's enchanted a legion of fans in the three decades since.

During that time, many "Labyrinth" devotees have wanted to return to that world of detailed puppetry and beautiful practical effects. Rumors of a sequel to the iconic film have been swirling for years. Now, it seems like we might be returning to the darkly gorgeous world that Henson created. Gather your crew of oddball fantasy friends and stay away from any masquerade balls as we discuss what we know so far about "Labyrinth 2."

When will Labyrinth 2 be released?

The original "Labyrinth" magic-danced its way into theaters back in 1986. The goblin kingdom has been strangely quiet since then. When might all these little puppet ghouls return to the big screen? Well, unfortunately, we don't have an answer at the moment. 

We know that the film has been in development since at least 2017, and it's seen numerous creatives — both screenwriters and directors — come and go in the intervening years. COVID-19 shutting Hollywood down in 2020 and forcing studios to reshuffle their schedules didn't do the film any favors either. Sadly, those aren't the only obstacles "Labyrinth 2" has in its path. In October 2023, Scott Derrickson gave ComicBook.com a seriously disappointing update on the movie's progress. "I don't know what's happening with that," the "Doctor Strange" director said. "We never got the script all the way to a place where the studio wanted to make it."

These remarks imply "Labyrinth 2" hasn't gotten very far into production, and might be stalled. It's clear, then, that any release date is a long way off. But fans shouldn't lose hope. As far as we can tell, the movie is still in production, which means a release date will eventually be revealed — even it's far in the future.

What is the plot of Labyrinth 2?

Back in 2018, when writer-director Fede Álvarez was still attached to "Labyrinth 2," he gave us a taste of what we might expect from the fantasy feature. As he explained to MovieWeb, "I'm a fan of the original and ... in this case, it's something that I haven't done." By "something," Álvarez meant a straight-up sequel. The director further elaborated on the screenplay, saying, "It's a sequel to a classic and a continuation of that story. ... We had what I thought was this great idea to continue that story and jump so many years later and pick up that story now." Granted, Álvarez left the project after making those remarks, and the script has been rewritten since. However, the new version of the film might very well stay true to the straight-up sequel concept, as opposed to a reboot. 

Scott Derrickson, who was attached as director after Álvarez's time on the project, offered another intriguing glimpse of what might go into the plot to ComicBook.com. "It's a hard, hard project to turn into something commercially viable, because it's so imaginative and surreal," he remarked. This implies that at least one director has considered preserving the glorious, decadent, and innovative universe of "Labyrinth" a priority. Regarding David Bowie's absence, he said, "Because the project is still in development, I probably shouldn't say. Because I think we had a really cool idea, but I don't want to blow that in case the movie does get made." What is this cool idea? Hopefully, we'll find out in the future.

Who is starring in Labyrinth 2?

At this point, we haven't heard any confirmation who will be starring in the film. Obviously, David Bowie won't be reprising his role of Jareth the Goblin King as the rock god shuffled off this mortal coil in 2016. But will Jennifer Connelly be returning as Sarah? In a world filled with talking foxes, angry fairies, and strange trash women, Sarah was the audience surrogate, anchoring us in this bizarro universe. We also watched her evolve as a character as she was forced to grow up and take power over her own life as she faced down Jareth in his M.C. Escher-esque castle.

In other words, if "Labyrinth 2" is a direct sequel to the 1986 classic, it seems like Sarah should play a big part. However, back in February 2019, Jennifer Connelly had no idea the film was even happening. In an interview about her film "Alita Battle Angel," Connelly appeared totally blindsided by the news of a sequel. Had she just not been informed yet by the studio? Will Connelly be recast? Is the script going in a completely different direction and jettisoning the Sarah character to focus on someone else (her brother Toby perhaps?). Or was she pulling the type of move we often see with actors in the MCU where they deny an obvious truth for fear of spoilers?

Who is directing Labyrinth 2?

In 2018, it was announced that Fede Álvarez would be directing "Labyrinth 2." The director is best known for his ultra freaky flicks, like the super gory "Evil Dead" film from 2013, the creepy "Don't Breathe," and the critically disappointing "The Girl in the Spider's Web." However, the filmmaker decided to step away from the project in 2020. 

Speaking with "The Boo Crew" podcast, Álvarez explained his decision to quit the film, saying, "I just felt ... when people have a preconceived notion of what something should be, it's very hard to succeed — to surprise them. They're just expecting the same thing again. So I just decided I didn't want to do things as a director that people knew already what it was. Or have a preconceived notion of how it should look on the screen. So 'Labyrinth' would be something that people would judge that way, so I decided not to do it."

With Álvarez out, who's filling his shoes? Scott Derrickson, another expert in the realm of horror, soon became the lucky director — but nowadays, his position seems less certain. When ComicBook.com asked him about the project in October 2023, he replied, "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." However, he also noted that he didn't want to reveal too much about the work he did do, lest it ultimately get made. This leaves the project, and Derrickson's part in it, in a strange sort of limbo.

Who is writing Labyrinth 2?

Quite a few people have taken a pass at the "Labyrinth 2" screenplay. It all started with Nicole Perlman, who's most famous for co-writing "Guardians of the Galaxy" and working on the story for "Captain Marvel." Once director Fede Álvarez came aboard, he teamed up with Jay Basu — who also collaborated with the filmmaker on "The Girl in the Spider's Web" — to take a shot at the script.

However, after Álvarez left the project and Scott Derrickson came aboard, a new scribe was attached to the film. To our knowledge, the most recent version of the script was penned by Maggie Levin, who wrote and directed on Hulu's horror series "Into the Dark." She also wrote and directed the "Shredding" segment in "V/H/S/99" and served as a second unit director on Derrickson's "The Black Phone." However, with Derrickson's comments to ComicBook.com about never getting the script to where the studio wanted it, we're unsure if this screenplay will wind up on the big screen.

Who is producing Labyrinth 2?

"Labyrinth" was the last film Jim Henson ever directed, so it makes sense that his family would want to oversee the upcoming fantasy sequel. Lisa Henson of The Jim Henson Company will be producing, with her brother, Brian, executive producing alongside Scott Derrickson and his longtime creative partner C. Robert Cargill. In the past, Lisa Henson produced Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" adaptation and Netflix's "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," both of which featured practical effects, with claymation and puppets, respectively.

So we expect puppets to feature prominently in "Labyrinth 2." We think that's what director Fede Álvarez intended when he was aboard the project, as he told Yahoo Movie UK, "You know my approach with those things, it's all about making it as real as I can. So something like 'Labyrinth,' making it a CG-fest would be the most disgusting thing ever." Even though he's since left the project, with the Hensons involved, we're assuming that all sorts of puppets will be populating the gorgeous and gothic world of "Labyrinth 2."

Where to watch the first Labyrinth

We don't know when to expect "Labyrinth 2," but you can never go wrong revisiting the magic of the original. If you need a little David Bowie in your life, you can stream the 1986 film on Hulu and MGM+. Or if you feel like spending a bit of cash, you can rent it on Vudu, Amazon VideoApple iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube.