That’s right, Supa-Fans, the cinematic darling of every ‘80s kid’s childhood is finally getting a sequel!
In May this year, TriStar pictures announced the long stagnating plans for a sequel to the original 1986 Jim Henson classic Labyrinth would be surging ahead under the new direction of Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, using a script penned by Maggie Levin, a self-described screenwriter with “rock’n’roll roots”.
Die-hard fans of the original, however, have one really big question that simply cannot be ignored: how in the name of the Goblin King can they possibly make a sequel without the late, great David Bowie playing Jareth?
Undoubtedly, Derrickson and Levin already have a plan up their sleeves, but until we hear more about how they’ll handle his absence, why don’t we look at the options?
Bring Him Back Using CGI
One of the current rumours circulating the internet is that they may actually be intending to bring Bowie back after all, by making use of the same technology that allowed Lucasfilm to digitally resurrect the late Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and also provide a brief young Luke and Leia scene in The Rise of Skywalker.
That decision would be a really big ask, however, and not only would it be reliant on the cooperation of Bowie’s estate, but using realistic CG for a major film role still has not yet been done in cinema history, and even Cushing’s appearance in Rogue One was still not quite as seamless a performance as a live actor would have been.
Besides the technology, you’d also need a singer capable of mimicking Bowie’s dulcet tones to lend their voice to the project.
Recast the Role
If they’re not going to recreate Bowie digitally, the next option would be to have another actor tackle the role of Jareth. The only question is who could possibly fill David Bowie’s skin-tight leggings? Some people have floated current Queen frontman Adam Lambert as a potential replacement, but as good as Lambert is – he’s still not Bowie. And the exact second anyone else is cast in that role, whoever they may be, they’ll be fighting an uphill battle to try and prove themselves a worthy successor.
Introduce a Whole New Role
The best way that we can think of for Derrickson and Levin to handle the sequel would simply be to honour Bowie’s legacy as the Goblin King by having his throne left empty, and his memory revered and referenced. In his place, they may seek to introduce a whole new antagonist, one perhaps who is seeking to claim the throne that he once held. A Goblin Queen perhaps? A number of fans have already suggested it may be an ideal role for pop music icon Lady Gaga, or, even better, what if now, many years later, Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah now finds herself wearing the crown?
Regardless of whichever way they go, Derrickson and Levin undoubtedly have a big task ahead of them, following on in Bowie’s enormous footsteps.