It has been reported that The Jim Henson Company is planning on making a sequel to the 1982 fantasy classic The Dark Crystal. The film, which is titled "The Power of the Dark Crystal", has been written by David Odell (The Dark Crystal, The Muppet Show) and Annette Duffy. No director is yet attached to the film which will start shooting this fall and is is planned for a 2007 release. The film will combine live-action animatronic characters with CG animation. Like its predecessor, the film hopes to push the boundaries of puppetry, special effects, and visual story-telling
The story for the film takes place several years after the original movie. The first film's heroes Jen and Kira are now king and queen, and must fight to save their kingdom when the crystal is once again split.
Any further cast and crew announcements have not been made at this time. But it has been cited that The Jim Henson Company wants to involve many of the people who worked on the original movie. Brian Froud is very interested in the project. Frank Oz (co-director on the first film) is not official yet, but he is watching the film's progress with "much interest". The official word on the cast & crew should be made later this year once production picks up on the project.
The Jim Henson Company had tossed around ideas of a sequel (or prequel) over the years. In late '90s there was strong support from many Henson executives, led by Brian Henson, to make a prequel to the 1982 film. Sadly the plans never materialized; but now that the company is "Muppet-free" they want to work to bring back many of their existing productions and franchises. The film has built a strong cult-following since 1982 and, mixed with the new surge in "fantasy world" films in the recent years, Henson feels that now is the perfect time to bring back the world of the Dark Crystal. Henson says that the script for the film is being polished and they are excited to begin work on the new film.
The company is also working on developing animated series, interactive games and other related media as well. It is unsure how the film will be released. Henson hopes for a theatrical release, but it could ultimately end up as a straight-to-video or a TV-movie release. I'll keep you all posted as more details on the production and release of "The Power of the Dark Crystal" surface.