The Jim Henson Company was founded in 1958 under the name Muppets Inc. by Jim Henson, the legendary puppeteer who brought us such classics as “Sesame Street” and “The Muppets.” Henson’s film studio was long used as the creator’s film outlet for his muppet movies as well as his more “out there” original works such as “Labyrinth” and “Fraggle Rock.”
After Henson’s death in 1990 his company continued work on several film projects including “Buddy” and the television series “Dinosaurs.” However in 2011, when Disney teamed up with the studio to release “The Muppet Movie,” The Jim Henson Company saw that there was still a huge audience for the characters that brought the company into existence in the first place. Since then there has been a sequel which was met with great financial success,as well as several more attempts for the studio to branch out further, including producing the recently released “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” along with “Which Witch” an upcoming animated feature.
However, there was still the matter of the original Henson characters that the patriarch came up with many years ago. Recently The Jim Henson Company spokespersons told Variety that they are in the process of making films based on several of Henson’s original products, including “Fraggle Rock,” “The Dark Crystal” and a sequel to the 1986 cult classic “Labyrinth” which starred a young Jennifer Connelly and a flamboyant David Bowie. While the original did not have a good run at the box office, only making 12 million dollars off of a 25 million dollar budget, the film has withstood the test of time and grown in popularity during its nearly two decade long run on home video and has even spawned a graphic novel.
There is no news of potential stars or writers for these films. In fact the only rumor circulating is that the directors of the 2009 vampire film “Daybreakers”, Michael and Peter Spierig, are in charge of directing The Jim Henson Co.’s new “Dark Crystal” project. The only thing that appears to be certain is that the company is on pace to start bringing their founder’s characters back and introduce them to a new generation on the big screen.