A sequel to the 1982 children’s fantasy movie The Dark Crystal has been rumored and talked about for a while now. When I was at DragonCon in September there were comments that Brian Froud had just been by the Henson offices with conceptual artwork, and we reported on ruminations even before that. Finally, we have official confirmation that this sequel is going ahead.
Variety has announced that The Jim Henson Co. has tapped “Star Wars: Clone Wars” director/creator Genndy Tartakovsky to direct the sequel, titled The Power of the Dark Crystal. Here’s where the news gets a bit disappointing: Tartakovsky will be utilizing his Orphanage Animation Studio to handle the CGI elements of the film.
CGI elements? Wait a minute, the first movie set out to show just what could be accomplished with puppets and only puppets. Now we’re going to have CGI elements for the sequel?
Tartakovsky answers: "The original 'Dark Crystal' was the pinnacle of puppetry; they created characters that were as believable as the ones you see in animated films,” but then continues, "There is a limited budget here, and this will be more artsy, in a 'Sin City' fashion, with characters performing over greenscreen and great backgrounds behind it,"
It sounds to me like a lot more then the backgrounds will be CGI though. The plot of the movie takes place hundreds of years after Jen and Kira repaired the broken Crystal, and will follow a girl made of fire who steals a piece of the Crystal, presumably setting the world in chaos again and dividing the caretakers of the Crystal back into the Skeksis and Mystics. A main character made of fire sounds like it demands a lot of CGI though, doesn’t it?
Concerns aside, I’ll go into this with an open mind. CGI or no CGI, I’m extremely excited about the idea of another story set within that world, and Tartakovsky seems fit enough as anyone to take us there.