Netflix and The Jim Henson Company are taking us back to the world of Thra, home of The Dark Crystal, in a ten episode prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, with shooting to begin this fall. Louis Letterier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) will direct the series, as well as serve as executive producer, along with Lisa Henson, and Halle Stanford. Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) have signed on as writers, as well as serving as co-executive producers. As with the original film, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will create the creatures based on designs by Brian Froud.
Set many years before Jen and Kira healed the Crystal, The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance tells the story of three Gelfling who discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power. They set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.
The 1982 film, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, was not very successful (a slight profit of $40 million from a $15 million budget), partly due to it’s competition during the time (E.T. The Extraterrestrial) and to the fact of it’s dark nature and audiences associating Henson’s name with the more family friendly Muppet brand. It was groundbreaking in the use of the animatronics, and was the start of the Creature Shop. In the time that followed it’s initial release, the film had gained better reception, becoming a favorite among fans of Henson and of fantasy in general.
In a message to fans, Louis Letterier wrote:
As a filmmaker, one of my earliest influences was Jim Henson’s masterpiece The Dark Crystal, a movie that brought to life a universe rich in detail and teeming with incredible characters. The creativity in the film was limitless and groundbreaking for that time, restricted only by the special effects tools of its day.
As I envision Age of Resistance, I am most excited about joining today’s film techniques with the practical visual effects that are such an integral part of The Dark Crystal – the artistry, the craftsmanship, the performances, and of course the puppets! It is a gift and an honor to work alongside the teams at The Jim Henson Company and Netflix, the artists at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and the Frouds, as we begin this new adventure, diving deeper into the world of Thra and working hard to bring fans all they have hoped for. We here are all fans as well, and I invite you to join me and this incredible team as we share photos, videos, and posts about the process of bringing to life the world that inspired us all so many years ago.
Jim Henson wanted to return to the world of Thra to tell more stories. A sequel was planned, but was shelved indefinitely. Now, Henson’s wish is finally coming true.
Watch this space.
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.