Henson Revisiting Dark Crystal

The Jim Henson Co. has announced plans to produce a sequel to its 1982 cult fantasy feature, The Dark Crystal. Scribes Annette Duffy and David Odell, who wrote the original film, have penned a script for the follow-up, which is being developed under the working title The Power of the Dark Crystal. Odyssey Ent. is currently in Cannes representing worldwide sales and distribution for the film, which is part of an overall franchise re-launch that will also include and animated series.

Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, with conceptual designer Brian Froud, The Dark Crystal blended sophisticated animatronics and puppetry to transport viewers to a strange world where a young adventurer must find the missing shard of a fabled crystal that can end the reign of the evil Skekses. While the film failed to make the kind of box office splash that the Star Wars saga and other fantasy films were making at the time, its wildly imaginative story and visuals have not gone unnoticed on home video where it continues to generate strong sales.

Set many years after the events of the first movie, the sequel revisits heroes Jen and Kira, who are now King and Queen, as well as guardians of the Crystal. When the Crystal is again split, the two must fight to save their kingdom from dark forces.

This time around, the Henson crew will employ a combination of animatronics and CG animation to bring the fantastical world and its bizarre characters to life. Lisa Henson and Kristine Belson will produce with Brian Henson, Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill serving as exec producers.

Lisa Henson comments, "The Dark Crystal created its own world. We are now going to fully explore this universe through the sequel film, which will be followed up with an animated series as well as interactive games and other media."

Brian Henson adds, "With The Jim Henson Co. celebrating its 50th anniversary, The Power of the Dark Crystal is a wonderful tribute to our legacy of fantasy projects. The original film set a new standard for the genre and broke new ground in visual effects. We hope to honor its devoted fans with an exciting new chapter in this great adventure."

The Jim Henson Co. recently employed its creature shop on the box office hit, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Now in the works at the company are adaptations of the popular children’s books Five Children and It by E. Nesbit and MirrorMask by Neil Gaiman. In post-production is the preschool series Frances, while the television feature, The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (Starring Ashanti, David Alan Grier, Queen Latifah, Jeffrey Tambor and Quentin Tarantino), airs this Friday, May 20, on ABC. More information on The Jim Henson Co. can be found at www.henson.com.