The Dark Crystal is a film that is dear to the hearts of quite a few folks (myself included), so fans of the film are naturally concerned about its good name being tarnished by a potentially less than spectacular sequel. But at this stage its all conjecture isn't it?
Personally, I feel that The Dark Crystal worked fine as a one-off, and the notion of a sequel is a pretty redundant one. The film certainly doesn't need a sequel. And I'm not the only person to have this view. According to the IMDB entry on The Power of the Dark Crystal, when asked his feelings about a "Crystal" sequel by the San Francisco Chronicle, co-director and puppeteer of the original Dark Crystal, the legendary Frank Oz, had a one-word answer: "Why?"
So yeah... why indeed?
Well, lets look at the facts about the sequel, as they stand at the time of writing. The film's screenplay has been written by Craig Pearce, (he wrote the screenplays for Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, so, herrrrrmmm) It is slated to be directed by The Spierig Brothers, Peter and Michael, and by the sounds of it they're big fans of the original, and are going to treat the material with the respect and care that it deserves. The Spierig Brothers directed Daybreakers among other things.
To allay confusion, the IMDB page for TPotDC currently lists Michael Gracey as being the director, but the page hasn't been updated since the May 4th announcement of the Spierig Brothers taking over.
Genndy Tartakovsky was once slated to direct, but I guess that fell through. Too bad, that could have been awesome.
Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust* will be producing. Keeping it in the family, that's something, right?
And it will be filmed in Australia, which makes sense, as the directors are Australian, and filming over there might be more cost effective in general.
The biggest news for me though is original conceptual designer Brian Froud is on board for this sequel, so at least the film's design will look good.
The intention is to film the movie in stereoscopic 3D, the same 3D technique used for Avatar, along with using traditional puppetry and animatronics. So this mix of techniques and approaches could end up being a garish visual mess, or something really lovely.
Here's an excerpt from the press statement, which gives a brief outline of the plot:
"Set hundreds of years after the events of the first movie when the world has once again fallen into darkness, Power of the Dark Crystal follows the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet."
A girl made of fire! Coooool!
I guess it all remains to be seen whether or not his sequel is a good thing or not. I really hope they don't fuck it up.
*what a cool name.