Jim Henson was a man of many talents, but his family had to help him decide which three celebrities should be the stars of what would become one of his most famous creations.
The Labyrinth is a film directed by Jim Henson and released in 1986. It was the first feature-length film produced by Henson’s company, The Jim Henson Company.
Jim Henson is one of the most well-known American filmmakers. Henson co-created The Muppets with his wife Jane, and he went on to direct or co-direct a series of feature films using some of the world’s most advanced puppetry methods, moving the art ahead and producing entertainment that has lasted three decades. Similarly, it’s difficult to picture anybody other than David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King, in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. The pop culture icon enhanced the part, making it one of the most iconic figures of the 1980s and frightening or delighting generations of viewers on many occasions.
However, it was at least possible that someone else might have landed the part. During the casting process, Henson is said to have explored the notion of Sting playing Jareth, as well as seriously considering Michael Jackson for the role.
“I can’t speak for my siblings, but I faintly recall the name Sting being mentioned,” Brian Henson said. “Michael Jackson and David Bowie are two names that come to mind. I’d just gone at university for a year, but I can tell you that I was traveling from nightclub to nightclub, and Michael Jackson and David Bowie were without a doubt the two biggest stars in my time. As a result, when he asked, I was leaning toward David Bowie. I simply thought Bowie had an eccentricity and also a coolness about him that would appeal to my father, while Michael’s work was so flawless that it would have been difficult for him to accept.”
On a set full of puppets, that feeling of perfection would have been difficult to maintain, especially because many of them were temperamental due to the use of technology created particularly for the film.
Henson said, “I believe it would have been difficult for Michael to be Michael in Labyrinth.” “He would have had to give up his perfection, and then he wouldn’t be Michael anymore, while David was always unexpected. ‘God, he is such an odd artist, David Bowie,’ I remember thinking as I saw David in The Elephant Man on stage with my father. All I remember is responding, “I believe David Bowie,” when he asked.”
According to Jim’s daughter Cheryl Henson, who manages the Jim Henson Foundation, the Henson children were used to seeing celebrities and other fascinating individuals since their father ran The Muppet Show, a worldwide phenomenon that once drew more than 250 million weekly viewers.
She acknowledged, “David Bowie was a celebrity even while he was on the set.” “He tried his hardest to connect with everyone, to be extremely nice, and to make everyone feel at ease while speaking with him, but he was still a celebrity, and we all knew it. So it’s not like [Jennifer Connelly, who] rose to prominence afterwards. He was very well-known at the time, and we were awestruck by him.”
That same year, Jackson would appear in Captain EO, a Disney Parks film directed by Francis Ford Coppolla and based on a script by Jim Henson’s friend and colleague George Lucas.
The 35th Anniversary screenings of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth will be preceded by a short featurette called “The Henson Legacy,” in which Jennifer Connelly and the Henson family discuss the art of puppetry and Jim Henson’s magic, as well as a visit to the “Center for Puppetry Arts,” which will feature The Jim Henson Collection and over 100 puppets from Labyrinth.
You still have time to purchase tickets at this site. The screenings will take place at dozens of cinemas around the nation at 7 p.m. ET local time.
The disturbing part of labyrinth is a scene from the film Labyrinth. It features David Bowie, Sting, and Michael Jackson as they are asked to decide between each other for the lead role in the film.