Wherever he is right now, Jim Henson has to be smiling about this, and even though it's Wednesday morning, so am I.
Almost in time for the 25th anniversary of his 1982 film "The Dark Crystal" (which I have a feeling a few of you geeks out there may just have heard of), it seems there is a sequel in the works, "Power of the Dark Crystal." And though that news may give you the initial shudder it did me, this project seems to be in just the right loving hands to make it the wonderful creation it should be.
For "Power," Russian director Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of the "Clone Wars" TV series, is teaming up with Henson's daughter Lisa, co-CEO of the Henson Company, and English illustrator Brian Froud, conceptual designer for the original "Crystal."
Here's what Tartakovsky had to say on the MTV site: "I love the first movie. I saw it [when I was young], and it's resonated with me throughout my life. Through all the jobs I've had, we always referred to it. We would go, 'You remember that scene in "Dark Crystal"? That was great the way that shape was put in,' or something like that. [I'm determined] not just to relive it, but also to honor it."
Sounds like a true believer to me. And while Henson dedicated much of his energy to the original project, he knew well the technological limitations that hindered the original movie. As long as they don't go overboard with CGI, all the breakthroughs since then should make this one a beauty to behold.
"Puppetry has come a long way since 'The Dark Crystal,' " Lisa Henson told MTV. "When 'The Dark Crystal' was made, it was the first time that all those techniques were really refined to the degree that they could be put in a feature film. Since then, puppetry has come so far that the puppets we're going to use are going to be much more emotive than the originals. In addition to that, we can augment them with digital effects, but very subtly."
Per MTV: The "Power" script continues the tale of elfin heroes Jen and Kira (shown at top in a Henson Company pic from "Power"), last seen returning the shard to the evil crystal and seemingly abolishing the vulture-like Skeksis from their land. Set many years after the first flick, "Power" casts Jen and Kira as king and queen, now overseeing a kingdom whose peace is disturbed by a visit from the underground-dwelling U-mun people. After the Gelflings refuse their request for a shard of crystal that could preserve the U-mun race, a desperate visitor takes it anyway, threatening their world with another thousand years of chaos.
"[David Odell], who wrote this film with his wife, is the original writer of 'The Dark Crystal,' and he had discussed this sequel concept with Jim," Lisa Henson said. "They didn't get too far into it, but [Odell] had a pretty good memory of the basic bones of the sequel idea."
So, when will we get to see possibly get to see all this? "We have a lot of conception design done," Tartakovsky told MTV. "We'll start pre-production this fall, and then by next fall we will probably have a release." It's listed on the IMDB as being a 2008 release, but I'm certainly ready right now.
To read more of the original MTV article and see some storyboards, click here and enjoy all the geeky goodness.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Posted by Reel Fanatic at 5:29 AM