Power of the Dark Crystal No Longer in Development

It’s been six or seven years since The Jim Henson Company first announced that they were working on a sequel to The Dark Crystal, Jim Henson’s epic fantasy film from 1982. Entitled Power of the Dark Crystal, the plan was to mix CG environments with puppetry, with Genndy Tartakovsky initially hired to direct. A few years later, they announced that the production was moving to Australia and that The Spierig Brothers (Daybreakers) would direct instead. They also unveiled plans to shoot the movie in stereoscopic 3D. Alas, at this point it seems that the project is probably just not meant to be. This month it has been confirmed that Peter and Michael Spierig have departed and that the project is no longer in active development. Bummer.

According to The Playlist, production house Omnilab Media has decided to cut all funding to the project, essentially pulling the plug once and for all. They had put it on hiatus sometime last year with plans to review it again in 2012, and it would appear that this is the final result. The Spierig Brothers have moved on to another project called Jungle, based on the true story of one man’s survival in the Amazon.

It definitely sounds like this is the final nail in the coffin for Power of the Dark Crystal, and to be honest, I’m not that surprised. The original movie wasn’t a huge box office hit back in 1982, and even now it has a fairly small cult following. It doesn’t have the same nostalgic draw that so many other ’80s properties seem to have and I don’t think a sequel would have done all that well anyway. Then again, if Genndy Tartakovsky was still directing, that definitely would have been a big selling point. Are you disappointed by this news? Do you think Power of the Dark Crystal will eventually see the light of day or is it simply better off dead?

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  • Bas

    Better off dead. I loved the first one as a kid, but a sequel from the Daybreakers brothers? No thanks. Actually, I’m surprised The Labyrinth hasn’t been the target for a sequel/prequel/re-boot/re-imagining… starring Lady Gaga maybe?

  • Andrew

    It seems like it could have perhaps been one of these children’s films that underperformed in the u.s but did well international. And I can’t see the harm that even a bad film would do to fans of the first film, it has been been around long enough that its legacy(? or people perception of the film, whatever) is hardly likely to be diminished.

    On thing I always find strange is this ‘nostalgic draw’ or recognition value placed on certain movies. I guess people tend to thing their childhood experiences are somewhat universal and there aren’t any any films I would have seen more as a kid than The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

  • Rob

    First of all the original should be completely remastered and reissued wide to theaters to gage a response. It stands the test of time I think. Fabulous movie. Then, from there with receipts etc decide wether the sequel should be done. I know I was kid back then and I would line up to see it on the big screen. However, another movie that needs to get updated is TIME BANDITS..

  • MAKE IT OR TAKE IT

    *** ARE YOU GUYS SMOKING CRACK?! *** This was one of the most AHEAD OF ITS TIME FLIX in the 80’s period.

    This is July 13,2012 soon to be 2013; look at what our CGI looks like! – – look at what is getting RE-BOOTED & RE-MADE every year!

    This movie would ROCK with a REAL DIRECTOR & VISIONARY onboard this project…. puppets with 2013 cgi SHOOT IN REAL I-MAX 3D & a masterfully theme score by one of the greats………..

    ….. Are you kidding me?! This movie screams $150 million dollar budget …. for a puppet i-max 3D ride of a life time.

    We could get the biggest thrill ride & rush like no other if this was handled right.

    Can you imagine Gen & Kira flying on a creature soaring above the ocean… with a master score behind it?

    Have you guys really grown old & inflexable? This movie simply needs a genius visonary & a huge budget behind it……..

    …… The skeks could be terrifying to look at in 3d cgi & puppet work in the year 2013 or 2014.

    Man I can’t believe how old people get and lose the passion & desire in life to fight and hold on to their dreams……..

    ………The key to Hollywood these days is reboot….which I think sucks….but they are afraid to spend money on anything outside of an ESTABLISHED FRANCHISE

    What you have to do is cater to the old & new with a NEW VISION…..& PAST THEMES & FEELINGS IN THE MOVIE

    HECK….LET THIS GUYS SCRIPT GET MADE….

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/55632746/POWER-OF-THE-DARK-CRYSTAL-SCREENPLAY

    HE SEEMS TO KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT :)

  • Seriously canceling this most wanna see flick was really stupid! I have all of Jim Henson’s classic’s on my Movie shelf, The only ones I don’t have is the Muppet’s and all that remake movies! But they definitely need to get that picture done before 2015! I hope this is just a rumor of that canceling The Power Of The Dark Crystal! I heard of a Fraggle Rock, movie as well as The Labyrinth remake in development.I hope that is true! We need more movies educating the Younger Generation! So Henson family, make a trade agreement deal with Genndy Tartakovsky for directing, that definitely would have been a big selling point! Just don’t screw it up Xer’s will be pissed if you do! Come on it feels like its 1982 anyway with the way fashion and sense are today anyway!

  • Bas

    In a perfect world we’d be getting fantastic sequels to both Labyrinth & The Dark Crystal, with puppetry on an even larger scale than those movies pulled off. They would have CG, but only to create backdrops (where they used to resort to matte paintings). And we would have either Tartakovsky or (better yet) Guillermo del Toro directing.

  • Shackamiah

    I had actually been hoping for a PREQUEL to the dark crystal, and actually there is a story for it already in comic book form. I admit the rumors and pics for the Power of the Dark Crystal didn’t look all that promising, and seriously, the original film’s ending seemed a little too final for there to be a sequel. The mystics / skeksis thing was one of the most interesting aspects of that movie. What I’d really like to see is a prequel where we see the complex nature of the Urskeks (the beings that divided to become mystics and skeksis), and what exactly brought them to the point where they thought cracking the crystal was a good idea. Of coarse that could turn out to be as epically disappointing as the Star Wars prequels, but I think if they handled it as a story in its own right instead of a checklist of questions to be answered (like in the Star Wars prequels) then it could be really good. I don’t know. I don’t think they should give up on the idea of another Dark Crystal movie – just maybe not a sequel.

  • Shackamiah

    I agree that Guillermo del Toro would be a good match for the Dark Crystal.

  • charlie

    NOT A BIG CULT FOLLOWING??? Is this guy an idiot??? Has he ever met a movie nerd??? I know some people who WORSHIP the Dark Crystal. WORSHIP. If this sequal had been made, i garantee some people would have gone to more multiple screenings than folks did for Titanic back in the day. The Dark Crystal was one of the greatest fantasy films ever made, and I’m sure the sequal would have been just as great

  • I would jump to Sean’s defense here, but I think your spelling beat me to it.