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After a long time in development and a change of writer and director, Labyrinth 2 is finally heading into production. It’ll be helmed by Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, working from a new script by Maggie Levin.
The first plot details we’ve heard indicate that the story will follow the same basic outline as Labyrinth: a young child makes a wish, realizes the horrible consequences and must traverse a fantasy maze to save the day. Early indications are that original star Jennifer Connelly will be playing the mother of our new heroine and that David Bowie’s Goblin King Jareth will be replaced by a Goblin Queen. Given that Bowie’s ethereal and sexy performance as Jareth is a major reason why the original is so well remembered, his absence will be keenly felt.
However, sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us the lead characters in Ghostbusters: Afterlife would be young teens, and that Now You See Me 3 and National Treasure 3 are in development, all of which was correct – say that the studio wants to bring him back for a cameo via CGI. Posthumous performances aren’t exactly uncommon these days, with the most recent one being Carrie Fisher reprising the role of Leia three years after her death in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Like in Fisher’s case, though, Bowie’s return hinges on his estate granting permission.
Bowie’s son Duncan Jones (Moon, Warcraft) is a director that makes heavy use of CGI in his movies, so he should know the limitations and capabilities of the medium more than most and can make an informed decision. But would Bowie himself have wanted it? Well, he wasn’t averse to artificial replications of himself, turning up as a character in bizarre late-90s adventure game Omikron: The Nomad Soul, so who knows?
Also helping is that the studio are only looking for a cameo rather than a fully-featured role. Let’s just hope that if they do go down this path, they don’t plunge headlong into the uncanny valley.
In any case, we’ve got a long way off until this hits theaters, but we should get some firm announcements on Labyrinth 2 by the end of the year.