Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Omnilab Media and the Jim Henson Company Join Forces to Launch the Australian Feature Production of the Highly Anticipated Power of the Dark Crystal

In a joint announcement by Omnilab Media's Christopher Mapp and The Jim Henson Company's Lisa Henson, Australian based Omnilab Media is teaming up with The Jim Henson Company to bring the much anticipated fantasy sequel, "Power of the Dark Crystal" to the big screen in stereoscopic 3D. The highly anticipated film will be among the most ambitious projects to ever be produced in Australia.

Power of the Dark Crystal will be produced by the Australia based production arm of Omnilab Media, Ambience Entertainment. The Jim Henson Company's executive producers are Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust. Omnilab Media's executive producers are Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street and David Whealy. Cinemarket Films' Peter D. Graves ("Terminator Salvation") rounds out the executive producer team.

Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig, writers and directors of "Undead" and most recently, "Daybreakers," have come aboard to direct the screenplay written by Australian Craig Pearce ("Moulin Rouge," "Strictly Ballroom," "Romeo + Juliet") based on an original script by Annette Duffy and David Odell. The legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud will reprise his role as conceptual designer of the film, which will use a stunning mix of live action and traditional puppetry combined with visual and special effects produced entirely in Australia. Omnilab-affiliated Iloura ("Where the Wild Things Are," "The Pacific," "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark") has already begun work on the film's complex CGI elements. With this team in place, next steps will be to secure worldwide distribution.

"Power of the Dark Crystal is an exciting and ambitious undertaking and, having worked on previous projects with the top-notch talent and crews that Australia offers, we know we have assembled the right team to deliver the sequel to one of the most enduringly popular titles in the Henson library. Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig are sure to create a film that will continue the legacy of the original and exceed the expectations of our loyal fans," said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. "We are especially enthusiastic to be working with Omnilab Media, a strong and growing force in worldwide film finance and production."

"We are very pleased to be producing this wonderful and fantastical film in Australia. The Power of The Dark Crystal will showcase the depth of talent Australia has to offer up on the international stage, including the extremely gifted directing team of Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig. The Jim Henson Company has consistently delivered an amazing range of entertainment over generations and is an iconic creative studio that we are proud to have partner with us," added Christopher Mapp from Omnilab Media.

Michael Spierig said, "We feel a tremendous amount of responsibility in telling this story with the same meticulous care that Jim Henson and Frank Oz gave the 1982 original." Added Peter Spierig, "This is a chance to take the world of puppetry into the modern age by using modern techniques (like motion capture CGI) and the tried and true methods (like puppetry and animatronics) to create a one hundred percent real world that is unique to 'The Dark Crystal'."

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.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dark Crystal Sequel Update

From: The Muppet Newsflash

Back in 2005 The Jim Henson Company announced plans to produce "Power of the Dark Crystal," a sequel to Jim Henson's classic 1982 film "The Dark Crystal". Since the initial announcement, fans have been clamoring for any news regarding the development and status of this highly-anticipated production. The film has had its share of pre-production setbacks that have nonetheless slowed the process of producing this ambitious film; however I have been reassured that the company remains as committed as ever to bringing the project to the screen.

The project has undergone several reworkings and overhauls and is finally preparing to move out of pre-production. The film's epic screenplay was recently rewritten by screenwriter Craig Pearce ("Moulin Rouge!", "Romeo + Juliet"), and producer Lisa Henson says that the film now has a "really great script."

The Jim Henson Company is now partnering with Australian production company Omnilab Media to produce their "Dark Crystal" sequel. The Jim Henson Company is preparing to unveil some more concrete announcements soon, so a lot more information should be rolling out in the not so distant future.

The movie is not expected to hit theaters until 2011 (so fans still have some waiting to do), however I've been told that things are on track and continuing to move along. I will be sure to keep you updated as more information is released regarding this highly-anticipated feature film.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Henson.com Podcast Talks Dark Crystal

The latest episode of The Jim Henson Company Podcast explores the upcoming "Legends of the Dark Crystal" manga series. Take a listen as TokyoPop's Tim Beedle gives the inside scoop on these new comic book expansions of The Dark Crystal.

Henson.com Podcast

Sunday, October 28, 2007

An Interview with TOKYOPOP's Tim Beedle

Back in 2005, The Jim Henson Company announced that they were teaming up with TOKYOPOP to produce original graphic novels based on The Dark Crystal. The first volume of the "Legends of the Dark Crystal" series, entitled "The Garthim Wars", will be released on November 13th.

The Muppet Newsflash has an exclusive interview with Tim Beedle, who serves as the editor of the series. Tim has been leading the team on "Legends of the Dark Crystal" since the beginning. Tim shares some great behind-the-scenes insights and gives readers a "sneak peak" at what they can expect to see in these graphic novels.

- Read the interview with Tim Beedle here -

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Production Update from Comic-Con

The Jim Henson Company held a special Q&A session at the 2007 ComicCon International convention in San Diego. Brian Henson, Lisa Henson, John Chandler, Halle Stanford, Patrick Bristow and Julianne Buescher were on site to answer questions from the audience. Inevitably some questions about Power of the Dark Crystal came up; here is what Henson had to say:

"We’re working on 'Power of the Dark Crystal' and those are animatronics puppets but with a whole lot of cool compositing techniques and animation enhancement that will be animatronics better then you’ve ever seen them done."
    - Brian Henson

"All of this is cloaked in secrecy...there is something great coming along... Fans of 'The Dark Crystal' did detect that we were moving a little slowly, and it’s kind of true, we had a little setback but are back on track. The movie will not be coming out until 2009 so we’re not going to be showing anything for a while."
    - Lisa Henson

Sunday, September 2, 2007

"Legends of the Dark Crystal" Details

As reported earlier, the first installment in the highly anticipated "Legends of the Dark Crystal" series will be released later this year. The graphic novel, entitled "Legends of the Dark Crystal #1: The Garthim Wars", is expected to hit store shelves on November 13, 2007.

The story takes place nearly 100 years before "The Dark Crystal", at a time when the gentle Gelflings and wise Mystics are still thriving - and so, unfortunately, are the evil Skekses.

The 192-page graphic novel is already available to pre-order from many online retailers, with a list price of $9.99. We also have the updated cover art for the release here (which differs from the original temporary artwork shown last year).

Details on the second and third volumes have not been released yet, however two more installments are planned to follow.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Collectible Dark Crystal Figurines on Sale Now

In Celebration of the 25th anniversary of "The Dark Crystal" (along with a special edition DVD, and a new soundtrack re-release), The Jim Henson Company, in association with MINDstyle, is releasing a set of limited-edition Dark Crystal collectibles.

Prototypes of some upcoming Dark Crystal figures were on display at Comic-Con in San Diego – and a vinyl figure of Jen aboard a full-figure Landstrider and a figure of UrAk the Mystic scribe are now available. These collectible figurine (with limited productions of only 2,500 each) are on sale at ToyTokyo.com. To order the collectible UrAk the Mystic scribe figurine click here; and to check out the giant Landstrider and Jen figurine click here.

MINDstyle has licensed several properties from the Jim Henson Company. The Dark Crystal figures are part of another new line from Henson and MINDstyle titled "The Jim Henson Signature Collection". A wider and more accessible release of figures in the collection is said to be in the works, however collectors should snag these "limited edition" items now while the supply lasts.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Dark Crystal 25th Anniversary CD Soundtrack

Aside from bringing fans a deluxe 2-disc anniversary edition DVD, The Jim Henson Company is using the 25th anniversary of "The Dark Crystal'" as a great excuse to resurrect, revisit, and release the film's magnificent soundtrack. "The Dark Crystal: 25th Anniversary Edition Soundtrack" album is set to be released on CD by La La Land Records on July 14, 2007. The film's score was written by composer Trevor Jones and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with Marcus Dods conducting. Currently the music from the film is hard to come by, with the limited edition printings of all past releases currently out-of-print. The anniversary soundtrack will also come with a booklet containing exclusive liner notes.

Track Listing
  1. The Dark Crystal Overture (3:11)
  2. The Power Ceremony (3:57)
  3. The Storm (1:03)
  4. The Mystical Master Dies (0:51)
  5. The Funerals/Jen's Journey (5:25)
  6. The Skeksi's Funeral (2:42)
  7. The Pod Dance (3:14)
  8. Love Theme (3:17)
  9. Gelfling Song (2:22)
  10. The Gelfling Ruins (2:43)
  11. The Landstrider Journey (0:44)
  12. The Great Conjunction (4:13)
  13. Finale (7:14)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"The Dark Crystal: 25th Anniversary Edition" DVD

2007 marks the 25th anniversry of "The Dark Crystal" (which first hit theaters in December 1982). To celebrate the occasion, The Jim Henson Company is planning a special DVD revisting of the film. "The Dark Crystal: 25th Anniversary Edition" DVD will be available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on August 14, 2007.

This special 2-disc anniversary edition features a new high definition film transfer, new audio commentary by Brian Froud, stylized new packaging, hours of previously unreleased footage from the Henson archives, "Reflections on The Dark Crystal" featurettes and much more. The discs' all-new series of featurettes entitled "Reflections on The Dark Crystal"; run over an hour in length and include all-new interviews with writers and performers behind the magic.

The Dark Crystal - 25th Anniversary Edition

Disc 1:
• "The Dark Crystal" (2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen)
• English and Japanese Dolby-Digital 5.1 surround sound
• English, French and Japanese subtitles
• Feature-length audio commentary by Brian Froud

Disc 2:
• "The World of Dark Crystal": The original 1982 making-of documentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Original Work Print Scenes
• Character Drawings & Designs
• "Reflections of the Dark Crystal": All-new behind-the-scenes documentaries that include rediscovered footage from the Henson archives and newly recorded interviews with the people who created The Dark Crystal (including David O’Dell, Dave Goelz, Katheryn Mullen, Brian Froud, Brian Henson, Jane Gootnick, Mira Velimorivic and others).
• ...and much more!

Other Specifications:
• Special lenticular packaging
• Release Date: August 14, 2007
• Suggested Retail Price: $24.99

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Special "Dark Crystal" Screening in Santa Monica

Calling all fans in the greater Santa Monica area! "The Dark Crystal" will be shown at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA on Saturday, June 16, 2007 at 3:00pm. Following the matinee presentation of the film there will be an exciting question and answer session with screenwriter David Odell. Odell wrote "The Dark Crystal" with Jim Henson, and also wrote "Power of the Dark Crystal".

For more information on this event and the venue, visit the Aero Theater website. This is a rare opportunity to see this classic film up on the big screen, with a crowd of fellow fans, and to hear about its creation directly from the screenwriter (and possible other guests).

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Production Status

In regard to the recent rumors and speculation that has been swirling around the internet lately, the Jim Henson Company released this statement earlier today:

"The Jim Henson Company remains committed to producing Power of the Dark Crystal. The film has not been “cancelled” or “put on hiatus” or any of the other rumored status changes that have been floating around. This film is an ambitious undertaking for us and it continues to move forward...We are grateful to the fans who support Power of the Dark Crystal and we are excited to make this new chapter in the Dark Crystal story a reality."

– Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company & producer of Power of the Dark Crystal

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Concept Sketch

Here is another concept sketch from Power of the Dark Crystal. This rough sketch shows the early design of Thruma by Brian Froud. Enjoy.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Production Update

Genndy Tartakovsky recently reported that most of the pre-production work for Power of the Dark Crystal is done and the company should be gearing up for production very soon. Tartakovsky says he hopes to have filming and post-production completed by the end 2007. The Jim Henson Company has reported on several occasions that the plan is to debut the feature at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008. The wide theatrical release is set to coincide with the premiere in Cannes in "Spring 2008". Filming on Power of the Dark Crystal is said to start in the early part of 2007.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Legends of the Dark Crystal #1: The Garthim Wars

Click to Enlarge

The first installment in the highly anticipated "Legends of the Dark Crystal"graphic novel series, titled "The Garthim Wars", is planned for release on November 13, 2007. The series, written by Barbara Randall Kebel with art by Max Kim, is being produced by The Jim Henson Company and TOKYOPOP.

The story of "Legends of the Dark Crystal" is a prequel to the 1982 film, and will showcase many of the established Dark Crystal characters (such as the Skeksis, the Mystics and Aughra) as well introduce many new characters (such as Larh and Neffi, two young Gelflings).

Details on the future installments have not been announced yet - however several more volumes are currently planned to follow. The first installment is already avaliable to pre-order from many online retailors - often retailing for under $10.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Power of the Dark Crystal Plot Summary

Here is a brief plot summary for Power of the Dark Crystal pieced together from the information provided in press releases, interviews and other official sources.

Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers about the plot of the film. If you don't want to be spoiled, please do not read on.

Power of the Dark Crystal is set many years after the events of the first movie. Jen and Kira, the gelflings, are older and are reigning as king and queen in the Castle of the Crystal. After the Gelflings welcome a fiery. and unexpected visitor. to their castle they learn that the very existence of the U-mun people, who live in the searing heat in the center of the planet, is threatened by the death of their sun. There is apparently only one thing powerful enough to heal the dying sun - a shard of the Crystal.

The Gelflings refuse the request for a crystal shard, as breaking the crystal would disturb the peaceful surface world's balance. But the desperate visitor takes matters into her own hands and steals a shard, making a hasty escape through tunnels deep in the bowels of the castle. The surface world once again falls into darkness - as the UrSkek split into Mystics and Skeksis. So begins the adventure of Thurma, a girl "made of fire", who bands together with Kensho, an outcast Gelfling, in an adventure in the "inner-world" over the fate of the planet.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Production Sketches

Below are a few rough storyboards and sketches for Power of the Dark Crystal. Click on the images to enlarge them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

MTV News Update

From: MTV News

In the late 1970s, with his creative instincts and Hollywood power swelling to their greatest levels up to that point, "Muppets" creator Jim Henson found himself obsessed with the dark, deranged work of English illustrator Brian Froud.

He befriended the children's-book author and recruited longtime collaborator Frank Oz, and together the three spent the next half-decade developing an ambitious, human-free movie that would mix the world of Froud with equal parts "Lord of the Rings" and Kermit the Frog.

The result was 1982's "The Dark Crystal," a fantasy flick that debuted as a commercial and critical failure and has since lived on as a fondly remembered near-classic along the lines of '80s movies such as "Tron" and "The Last Starfighter." Frustrated by the limitations of technology, Henson, who died in 1990, took to discussing two different "Dark" visions in interviews: the film his imagination had longed for and the version hindered by fishing line and awkward action sequences.

Now, like a woodland creature called to action by Gelfling heroine Kira, "The Dark Crystal" is preparing to rise up again. And this time it has technology on its side, along with one of the hottest action directors in all of geekdom.

"I did television shows like 'Dexter's Laboratory,' 'The Powerpuff Girls,' 'Samurai Jack' and 'Clone Wars,' and then I decided to go into features," said highly stylized Russian director Genndy Tartakovsky, offering a preview of his upcoming film debut, "The Power of the Dark Crystal." "I love the first movie. I saw it [when I was young], and it's resonated with me throughout my life. Through all the jobs I've had, we always referred to it. We would go, 'You remember that scene in "Dark Crystal"? That was great the way that shape was put in,' or something like that. [I'm determined] not just to relive it, but also to honor it."

Such a tribute would be impossible without remembering the man who was a quarter-century ahead of his time. And as the film enters production, it should be quite easy for Tartakovsky to remember Henson daily, since Henson's daughter Lisa is producing.

"Puppetry has come a long way since 'The Dark Crystal,' " said the amicable co-CEO of the Jim Henson Company. "When 'The Dark Crystal' was made, it was the first time that all those techniques were really refined to the degree that they could be put in a feature film. Since then, puppetry has come so far that the puppets we're going to use are going to be much more emotive than the originals. In addition to that, we can augment them with digital effects, but very subtly."

The "Power" script continues the tale of elfin heroes Jen and Kira, last seen returning the shard to the evil crystal and seemingly abolishing the vulture-like Skeksis from their land. Set many years after the first flick, "Power" casts Jen and Kira as king and queen, now overseeing a kingdom whose peace is disturbed by a visit from the underground-dwelling U-mun people. After the Gelflings refuse their request for a shard of crystal that could preserve the U-mun race, a desperate visitor takes it anyway, threatening their world with another thousand years of chaos.

"[David Odell], who wrote this film with his wife, is the original writer of 'The Dark Crystal,' and he had discussed this sequel concept with Jim," Lisa Henson said. "They didn't get too far into it, but [Odell] had a pretty good memory of the basic bones of the sequel idea."

Froud, who has since designed "Labyrinth" (1986) and the recent "Peter Pan" flick while also developing his respected career as an illustrator, has been hard at work sketching new storyboards for the sequel, and he couldn't be happier about his rare second chance.

"When we created the original 'Dark Crystal,' we created a whole world," noted the artist, known for his unique combinations of acrylic, colored pencils, pastels and inks. "It had many levels, and we already invented a lot of things that we never got to see in the movie. Now we have the opportunity to explore."

Tartakovsky was hand-selected by George Lucas to create the "Clone Wars" cartoons for his "Star Wars" universe (see " 'Clone Wars' Animator Tapped To Helm 'Dark Crystal' Sequel"), a series so beloved that many fans consider it to be the prequel Lucas should have made. Now he's ready to once again bring renewed life to a legend's passion project. And after the original flick's clunky Garthim-versus-Landstriders battle and Jen's laugh-out-loud climactic jump onto the crystal, audiences are likely to appreciate the skilled touch of an action director.

We can have a puppeteer in a blue suit holding the puppets and moving them around, and then we'll just take the puppeteer out," Tartakovsky said, going far beyond the days when Henson had four or five people squatting beneath each puppet. "Now we can put the puppet's feet on the puppeteer and connect their hands, and they can actually move them around."

The "Crouching Tiger"-esque results will then be placed on backgrounds that will replace the "Land of the Lost" look with sets that make you feel like you've fallen into one of Froud's books. "The new technology will take it to another level," the illustrator said. "When Jim Henson came to visit me in England, he loved the landscape, the rocks, the trees all covered in moss, the streams. I want 'Dark Crystal' to feel like that.

"A great friend of mine is Alan Lee, who won an Oscar for his designs for 'Lord of the Rings,' " Froud continued. "People often say, 'Why does "Dark Crystal" look like "The Lord of the Rings"?' And I say, 'Well, both Alan and I live in the same village, in the same English landscape, and as artists we are informed by our own landscapes.'"

Now that audiences have fallen in love with Lee's style — and the computer-generated hobbits, elves and walking trees that came with it — they may finally be ready for a drop-kicking Muppet. Tartakovsky is happy to oblige, working with Froud on updated versions of Jen and Kira, the mystic urSol, one-eyed psychic Aughra, the Skeksis and the Garthim.

"We will definitely have some of the puppeteers do the voices, but coming from animation, I have such respect and adoration for the voice-over community. I want to put that into the mix too," Tartakovsky said. "And maybe some celebrities. Who knows?

"We have a lot of conception design done," Tartakovsky continued. "We'll start pre-production this fall."

Jim Henson never lived to see Gollum, but now that skinny CGI creature might finally allow his "Dark Crystal" imaginings to come to life. And if that isn't a convincing enough reason why a second Gelfling tale will work, Tartakovsky offered up a few more. "It's the daughter of the guy who did it, and the guy who designed it," he said. "If I was going with a new designer and a different puppeteer company, I would be a lot more nervous. We are coming from a sincere point of view."

Friday, August 4, 2006

More News from Comic-Con 2006

From: Dark Horizons

If there is one company capable of consistently capturing the imagination of young and old alike, one that is constantly pushing the boundaries of special effects and creature creation, it would be the Jim Henson Company. Responsible for everything from children's classics like The Muppet Show and The Dark Crystal to more modern and mature offerings like Farscape and MirrorMask, the Jim Henson Company has always striven to fulfill the dream of its creator, “to leave the world a better place.” At this year's Comic-Con panel, Lisa Henson, Brian Froud, Scott Stewart and Genndy Tartakovsky divulge the company's upcoming plans to make that dream happen.

A sequel to the original 1982 film, Power of the Dark Crystal will be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and produced by Scott Stewart. The concept and world designs, of course, will be provided by none other than Brian Froud. Lisa Henson promises the new film has a “compelling story, really beautiful” and maintains that, while her father was not interested in making a sequel to The Dark Crystal twenty years ago, the new screenplay is in line with his original vision, offering “innovation [that has] never been seen before.” Unlike the original film, Power of the Dark Crystal will follow the adventures of new characters and explore the underground world of Brian Froud, rather than repeating the overland journey of Jenn and Kira. Per Brian Froud, the world of his creation “has moved on, leaving [them] to catch up” and create something entirely unique.

Of course, this still begs the question, what about the puppets? In this regard, hardcore Henson fans have nothing to fear. While CGI effects will be used to complement the film, bringing to life the landscape and hiding the puppeteers, the characters themselves will be done with authentic Henson Creature Labs creations. In fact, when initially approached about doing the film, both Genndy Tartakovsky and Scott Stewart only agreed to participate after being assured that puppets would be the mainstay of the production. Tartakovsky even goes so far as to promise audiences “real puppet action.”

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Comic-Con Presentation

The Jim Henson Company showed a brief promotional presentation reel at Comic-Con 2006 that gave viewers a glimps into the development of Power of The Dark Crystal. The 3-minute video featured clips from the original Dark Crystal film intercut with an interview with Genndy Tartakovsky, director of Power of the Dark Crystal. Here is a transcript of what Tartakovsky said:

The Dark Crystal, when it came out, was one of the most influential artistic movies of its time. It really took a lot of chances. It really took puppetry – the art of puppetry – beyond any puppets had done. It was really creative. It was really like an art film – which was amazing for the time to see something like that. And it captured my imagination. I always loved puppets, I was a huge fan of The Muppet Show, but this took it to a whole new level. I really just appreciate the grit and the boldness of it.

So in the 25 years since The Dark Crystal, the Henson Creature Shop has really made so many advances in puppetry and animatronics. The Hitchhiker's Guide was a great example of that and where the Creature Shop has come. In the new Dark Crystal movie we're going to blend puppetry with CG environments – and this is where The Orphanage comes in. Orphanage is one of the leading digital effects companies working today. They've done amazing work on Sin City, where they blended characters into this really graphic film-noir environment which is really fantastic. Also in Hellboy they had this great sequence with the bridge with a giant pendulum going back and forth. So we're going to use all these developments to really enhance this and take it further beyond what was done before.

After working for 12 years in television I really wanted to make the jump into features and The Dark Crystal came about at about the same time. And it was a great opportunity to do something new and bring all those things together – the action of Samurai Jack and also all those things we did for Clone Wars. Bringing those thing to the feature world and bringing those things to a puppet world.

When this project started to come about the first question, of course, I had was 'is Brian Froud going to be involved?', because The Dark Crystal is so much of his world. Because we have Brian Froud, he was able to take what he'd done before and then really change it and still have the feel of The Dark Crystal. So the two new characters make a really a great story because they are very different from each other. You have one character from the underworld of the Dark Crystal which is a fire creature. And the other character is from the surface. So you have these two characters meet and they fall in love, so that propels them on this journey of him helping her because her world is dying.

Instead of doing another journey on the surface world of the Dark Crystal, this movie is really based around their journey underneath. So we get to see the under workings of the world of the Dark Crystal. And it's really fascinating because we were really able to take what we've done before and then really give it a weird, dark movie because we're underneath.

Thurma and Kensho

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Jim Henson Presentation at Comic-Con

From: ComingSoon.net

We attended the Jim Henson presentation Friday evening at the San Diego Comic-Con. On the panel were Lisa Henson, Michael Polis, fairy expert and The Dark Crystal designer Brian Froud, sequel director Genndy Tartakovsky, and visual effects whiz Scott Stewart.

Finally, the presentation turned to discussion of the Dark Crystal sequel - Power of the Dark Crystal. Michael Polis and Lisa Henson described how fans kept asking them for a sequel and that prompted them to ask the script writer if he had any ideas for a sequel. The script writer remembered a conversation he had with Jim Henson where they laid out story ideas. Rather than doing the further adventures of the Gelflings, they wanted to go farther in the world and this film reflects that. Tartakovsky said how they intend to do a mix of puppets and CGI. They intend to use the CG effects to remove puppeteers from the images and free up the puppets to do "real puppet action". All panelists agreed Jim Henson would approve of the use of the technology.

A few concept art pieces were quickly flashed on the screen. The previously seen elderly Kira was shown. They showed a new female creature named "Thurma" who is a fire creature from the underworld. Next up was a male creature from above the earth named Kensho. The two have an adventure under the surface in the "Innerworld". We saw pictures of caverns, crystals, underground lakes, and huge monsters. Not much more was said about the sequel film. A kid asked if the Gelflings would be married and Froud joked that it was possible they had been "living in sin". Tartakovsky also said that he'd love to have Frank Oz involved in some capacity if he could.

Lisa Henson also confirmed that they were in the early stages of doing a Fraggle Rock movie, but it was a long way off. She also said they don't have any plans yet for a Labyrinth sequel - they are focused on "Dark Crystal."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Power of the Dark Crystal makes Cinefantastique's Cover

The previously seen production image from Power of the Dark Crystal was featured as the cover for Cinefantastique Magazine's special Comic-Con 2006 preview issue.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Power of the Dark Crystal T-Shirt

The Jim Henson Company is now offering the first piece of official Power of the Dark Crystal merchandise. You can get an exclusive Power of the Dark Crystal T-Shirt at Henson.com's online store via CafePress.

Click here to order!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Promotional Flier

A new promotional flier has been circulating from The Jim Henson Company to promote the film to distributors, investors and promoters. Aside from the brief film description, plot summary and release information, the flyer includes newly seen pictures of Jen, Kira and Thurma.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Queen Kira Concept Art

The Jim Henson Company has released the first piece of character concept art by Brian Froud for Power of the Dark Crystal. Enjoy!

Click to enlarge

Genndy Tartakovsky to Direct Power of the Dark Crystal

Award-winning animation director Genndy Tartakovsky, who created the hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory, will direct Power of the Dark Crystal. The announcement was made today by Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company and a producer on the film.

“As an auteur of such exciting and fantastical adventure projects, Genndy is the perfect director to bring to life Power of the Dark Crystal,” said Lisa Henson. “I am sure that his visualization of Brian Froud’s designs will thrill fans of the original film as well as audiences who are meeting these beloved characters for the first time.”

Genndy Tartakovsky said, "The original Dark Crystal was one of the most inspirational and imaginative pictures of its time, so it's a real honor for me to be able to bring the world of The Dark Crystal to a whole new generation."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Production Update

The Jim Henson Company's co-chief executives, Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, made the announcement that Odyssey Entertainment will represent the worldwide sales and distribution of the film, beginning immediately at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008.

Brian Froud is currently in the final stages of negotiation with the Jim Henson Company to reprise his role as lead conceptual designer for Power of the Dark Crystal. Brian is scheduled to begin the initial phase of conceptual design this month.

The sequel is based on an original screenplay by Annette Duffy and David Odell, who wrote the first film. It is set many years after the events of the first movie. Power of the Dark Crystal sees Jen and Kira as king and queen and guardians of the crystal, who fight to save their kingdom when the crystal is once again split. Lisa Henson and Kristine Belson will produce, with Brian Henson, Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill serving as executive producers.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Power of the Dark Crystal in Development

From: Dark Horizons

The Jim Henson Company will produce a feature film sequel to The Dark Crystal, the 1982 fantasy classic directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz with conceptual designer Brian Froud, which has remained a fan favorite with consistently strong worldwide home video and DVD sales. The announcement was made by the Company's co-CEOs Brian Henson and Lisa Henson. Odyssey Entertainment will represent the worldwide sales and distribution of the film, beginning immediately at the Cannes Film Festival.

The original screenplay by Annette Duffy and David Odell (the original Dark Crystal, The Muppet Show) is set many years after the events of the first movie. Power of the Dark Crystal, sees Jen and Kira as King and Queen and guardians of the Crystal who fight to save their kingdom when the Crystal is once again split. Incorporating a hybrid of live action animatronic characters and CG animation, production is expected to commence in fall of 2005. Lisa Henson and Kristine Belson will produce with Brian Henson, Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill serving as Executive Producers.

"The Dark Crystal created its own world. We are now going to fully explore this universe through the sequel film, which will be followed up with an animated series as well as interactive games and other media," said Lisa Henson. "Knowing the franchise's worldwide appeal, we're thrilled to leverage Odyssey's expertise in family entertainment within the independent film-sales community."

Brian Henson said, "With The Jim Henson Company celebrating its 50th anniversary, Power of the Dark Crystal is a wonderful tribute to our legacy of fantasy projects. The original film set a new standard for the genre and broke new ground in visual effects. We hope to honor its devoted fans with an exciting new chapter in this great adventure."

Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill said, "It's a real treat to be able to offer our distribution partners the opportunity to join forces with The Jim Henson Company as they re-imagine one of the best-loved jewels in their crown."

Friday, May 13, 2005

Henson Planning Dark Crystal Sequel

The Jim Henson Company is planning to make a sequel to its 1982 fantasy classic The Dark Crystal, reports Variety.

Titled Power of the Dark Crystal, the new movie is written by David Odell and Annette Duffy. No director is yet attached to the film which is set for a Spring 2008 release. It will combine live-action animatronic characters with CG environments.

The story is set many years after the original, which was helmed by Frank Oz and Jim Henson. Original heroes Jen and Kira are now king and queen, and must fight to save their kingdom when the crystal is once again split.

The company is also developing an animated series, interactive games and other related media as well.