Movies & TV / Columns

Can The Dark Crystal Connect With Today’s Audiences?

May 20, 2017 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

Out of nowhere, Netflix has greenlit a prequel series to Jim Henson’s 1982 film, The Dark Crystal. Variety reported that the 10-episode revival will be called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and will be directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans).

The series will return to the movie’s fictional planet of Thra, where the humanoid Gelflings live alongside the bird-like Skeksis, who represent different kinds of evil. According to Netflix, Age of Resistance will feature three Gelflings who “discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power” and set off a rebellion.

Variety pointed out that The Dark Crystal was one of only three-feature length films that Jim Henson ever directed. The Jim Henson Company will executive produce the show alongside Leterrier.

If you have any questions about how the show will look in regards to CGI or puppet, worry no more. As you can see in the teaser, they’re staying true to the spirit of the original and using state-of-the-art creatures and technology.

The Dark Crystal came out on December of 1982 and received mix reviews and acceptance, mainly from parents who were concerned about its dark nature. It made $40,577,001 in its box office run, making a small profit.

Over the years it’s managed to gain a cult following and greater acceptance as audiences appreciate the nuances of the original.

Interestingly enough, while developing The Dark Crystal, Henson and writer David Odell discussed ideas for a possible sequel. Fast forward 25 years, Odell and his wife Annette Duffy pieced together what Odell could recall from these discussions to draft a script for The Power of the Dark Crystal. In January of 2006, Genndy Tartakovsky was hired to direct and produce the film but hit delays and changes to the script before quietly being shelved.

The announcement of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance has garnered a huge nostalgia factor on social media and Cindy Holland, VP of Original Content at Netflix had the following to say about the announcement:

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by the Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects. I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

Lisa Henson, CEO of the Jim Henson Company had the following to say about the upcoming series:

“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life. Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.”

While this is sure to get the attention of parents and fans of the movie, the big question is how will the younger demographic embrace The Dark Crystal revival? While the original was groundbreaking in tone, times have changed and kids aren’t as impressed with puppets like they used to be.

What’s your excitement level for this project?