Why Haven't They Made This Yet? #3

[Do you know what I find even more annoying than the constant wave of remakes, reboots, sequels/prequels, and comic book and video game adaptations? People complaining about remakes, reboots, sequels/prequels, and comic book and video game adaptations. Seriously, all I ever hear these days is 'waah, why aren't there any fresh ideas? Everything is (see above) nowadays!' And frankly, I'm getting really tired of it. So instead of joining the ranks, I'm going to embrace all said types of film, and I will be celebrating it in a segment I like to call... "Why haven't they made this yet?"] 

Man, I haven't done this in a while, but I was inspired today while watching the original (especially so close to viewing Where The Wild Things Are) that I had to do it. 

Title: Labyrinth.

Type: Remake. 

About: Almost everybody remembers this trippy classic. It was the film that pretty much launched the career of Jennifer Connelly. As a fantasy (on a magical realism level) full of puppets and a pseudo-musical (with everything written and sung by David Bowie, the film's antagonist), Labyrinth works on many levels. A lot of its visual effects don't hold up today, and with what modern cinema has at its fingertips, this movie could be redone as a modern classic... if done right.

Film Possibilities

Genre: Similar to the original, it would be a trippy, puppet-driven fantasy/pseudo-musical for children and/or young adults.

Why This Movie Could Work: Where The Wild Things Are. If anything was outstanding in that recent film, it was the puppetry and men-in-suits work. Movies have come a long way in the realm of realism and puppets, and if the same people were involved as were with "Wild Things," this film could be outstanding visually. 

Story: Similar to the original, a spoiled girl named Sarah is tired of having to give up her time to babysit her baby brother so her parents can go out. So in a fit of anger, she offers up her brother to the Goblin King, but immediately regrets it. She travels to the Labyrinth and discovers she has 13 hours to get to the middle, through the Goblin City, and to the castle to save her brother before he's turned into a goblin forever. Along the way, she makes friends who help her find her way through the dangerous maze.

In the remake, though, I'm sure there would be the want to detract the magical realism and make Sarah freak out about the whole thing instead of act like everything she sees and experiences is as common as rain. I'd hope that would stay in to keep with the fantastical feel of the story. At the same time, though, maybe the remake could add a bit to the characters of Sarah and possibly the Goblin King to make them more rounded and relatable characters. 

Director: My first instinct, of course, is Spike Jonze (as long as he stays away from Dave Eggers in the script department). For the most part, he did good things with "Wild Things." I could also suggest Tim Burton, who would take this already whacked-out story and, dare I say, make it even crazier and more surreal. Plus he's had the experience with musicals (Sweeny Todd). But he'd probably cast Johnny Depp as the Goblin King, and I have other ideas for him. But I'm gonna go out there and say that I'd like to see another artistic take on it by hiring Guillermo del Toro. He's done his own puppetry work (Hellboy I and II, Pan's Laybrinth). And especially with the aforementioned "Labyrinth" film, I know he could make one heck of a magical realism/fantastical film. 

Cast: I'm gonna stick away from the voice actors for now, though I dare say del Toro should hire Doug Jones for a lot of the men-in-suits bits. Boy that would be a nice paycheck, wouldn't it? My main concerns are the protagonist and antagonist: Sarah and the Goblin King.

First, who would take over for the classic Jennifer Connelly role? There aren't a ton of young actresses who I could see taking the role. Dakota Fanning is too young. I could suggest the hot up-and-comer Emma Stone for the role. I'd say it's what she'd really need to break out, but I think Zombieland just did that. Plus, I'm not sure if she could grab the emotion of the role too well.

That's why I'm going controversial. I'm gonna say the role should go to Kristen Stewart. I know, her Twilight role makes her look like she has the depth of a teaspoon, but I know this girl can act (see: Speak or Adventureland). She can also be the dark, broody girl required of the part. Plus... she actually kinda looks like Jennifer Connelly did at that age.

Then we have our villain, the Goblin King. Famously portrayed by David Bowie, the character needs to be able to sing. The actor should also have an androgynous feel to him, as well as not look ridiculous in eyeliner. I really only had two suggestions. If we were going the "older" route, I'd say Anthony Head. We know the guy can sing (see: Buffy's "Once More With Feeling" or Repo! The Genetic Opera). And he's no stranger to the fantasy realm. But I sincerely doubt they'd go that risky and pick a guy that 1) isn't overly attractive, 2) isn't well known by the mass population, and 3) isn't a draw for the young crowd.

That's why I think the perfect person for this role would be recent American Idol almost-winner Adam Lambert. He can do the falsetto. He can dress up in tights and eyeliner and still look good (he did it every week on Idol). He already has the hair for the role. And he falls into the young, attractive, and popular crowd. He'd certainly draw in the big bucks. Not to mention (in my opinion) he has a great voice.

And that's pretty much all there is to this edition. Thoughts?


  1. I didn't seen the original until just a few years ago, and as such, it came off pretty bad to me. Horribly dated, and what's with Bowie's codpiece? I had a hard time believing that this was beloved to anyone. So a remake wouldn't offend me in the slightest.

    The LAMBert :) casting is inspired, though I don't care for him much personally.

    Stewart seems too old already for this. Why is Fanning (or someone else that age) too young? In the original, wasn't she supposed to be 15 or 16?

  2. I think it's a more "looks" thing than "age" thing. Fanning might be 16, but she looks 10. Stewart might be in her 20s, but she looks 16. She also, to me, looks like Jennifer Connelly did when she did this movie.

    Haha... LAMBert. Nice pun. I loved Adam Lambert, and I think he would be wonderful in the role if they wished to remake this.

    But I agree, while just re-watching it for the first time in years recently, it is horribly dated. There's even a scene that you can tell is green screen because of the "green screen glow" behind Jennifer Connelly.

  3. I always felt that the musical aspect of the film was just the unavoidable consequence of being a Henson Production, and that they just made the best of it by bringing on Bowie to sing and star. These days, I think the film would work much better if taken out of the musical context and delve deeper into Del Toro's darker kind of fantasy.

    Also, I couldn't object more to the continuing trend of giving credibility to these so-called "Idol" stars. Bring back Tim Curry in a devil outfit!


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