Television & Film

Netflix To Reveal The Secrets Of THE DARK CRYSTAL

There are a few films from my childhood that I religiously watch at least once a year. Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal is one of these. So, you can probably guess the level of my excitement when Netflix announced this week that they have greenlit a 10-episode prequel series called The Dark Crystal: Age of Rebellion.

The show returns to the world of Thra and takes place six years before the 1982 movie. It will follow three Gelflings who discover untold secrets about the tyrannical Skeksis and seek to overthrow them.

The Jim Henson Company will produce. Louis Leterrier will direct as well as executive produce with Henson’s Blanca Lista. Rita Peruggi will serve as producer. Jeffery Addiss, Will Mathews, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach will lead the writing team. They have also brought back Brian Froud, who was the creative designer for both The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

The original film was co-directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and grossed over $40 million on a $16 million budget. It is only one of three feature films Henson directed in his career, along with The Great Muppet Caper and Labyrinth.

It has been reported that the series will feature “state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and Brian Froud.” Between the beautiful work that Froud has done with the original film and Labyrinth, Leterrier’s powerful storytelling, and the quality of Netflix produced shows, it seems this could be an amazing show. Netflix’s Cindy Holland said in a statement, “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

And unique they are.

Henson’s original inspiration for the visual aspects of The Dark Crystal came after he saw an illustration by Leonard B. Lubin in a 1975 edition of Lewis Carroll’s poetry showing crocodiles living in a palace, wearing elaborate robs and jewelry. He then used his short lived The Land of Gorch, which takes place on an alien world with no human characters, as the film’s conceptual roots. Co-director Frank Oz states that Henson’s intention was to “get back to the darkness of the original Grimms’ Fairy Tales,” believing it was unhealthy for children to never be afraid.

So, Henson wrote a 25-page story called The Crystal while snowed in at an airport hotel.

Henson chose Froud as concept artist after seeing one of Froud’s paintings in the book Once Upon a Time. Froud’s inspiration came from Swedish painter and illustrator, John Bauer, known for his landscape and mythology based work.

The Skeksis were inspired by the seven deadly sins, having to double up on a few since there were ten Skeksis. Froud originally designed them as deep sea fish, but later changed them to a mix between predatory birds and dragons, with an emphasis on giving them a penetrating stare.

As for the Mystics, they were designed to be more connected to the natural world, released of all materialistic urges unlike their Skeksis counterparts.

When the film was released in December 1982, it came with mixed reviews. It was a darker film than Henson’s previous films, causing some concern for parents. Plus, it had the competition of Tootsie and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. However, it brought in $40 million and became the 16th highest grossing film of 1982 in North America as well as a favorite with fans of Henson and fantasy.

The original film is gorgeous. As a child and even now as an adult, I’m easily swooped into the fantasy world that Henson and team created. I always recommend this film to people since it is not your typical Henson film. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to see it again on the big screen and was in complete awe and yes, talking with the film (quietly).

I am excited to see how the prequel will be and can guarantee that people will find me imitating the Chamberlain’s sing-songy “MMMMMMM” till the show is released later this year.

Check out the teaser and let us know what you think!

2 thoughts on “Netflix To Reveal The Secrets Of THE DARK CRYSTAL

  • I’m EXTREMELY excited for this and I really hope it has the deeper and darker adult writing that it really should have.

    • For some reason it posted me under Anonymous. But anyways, yeah, really looking forward to Dark Crystal the series.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
24 − 23 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
%d bloggers like this: