Whoever steps into David Bowie's role has a tight leotard to fill

By Alex Heigl
January 25, 2016 01:50 PM
Everett Collection

Well, by now you’ve surely heard the news that the powers that be are planning a Labyrinth sequel.

TriStar and The Jim Henson Company (the film was the last that the director helmed before his death in 1990) have reached a deal to move forward with a second installment of the classic film, written by Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman.

But that’s the only information we have about this film right now, so let’s commence with the wild speculation and get in a round of fan-casting.


Stepping into the upsettingly tight pants of Jareth, the Goblin King, is no easy task. First of all, it’s one of David Bowie’s most iconic roles – in music or film – and second of all, it requires the actor walk a delicate line between imperiousness and camp. That’s why I’m nominating Win Butler, of the Arcade Fire. Bowie was a big fan of the band, and Butler led a memorial march in New Orleans for Bowie after his death. Besides, he’s got the vocal chops and the requisite predilection for histrionics and theatricality for the part.


Jennifer Connelly was just 15 when she starred in Labyrinth, which means it’s important to find an actress who can skew a little younger and still hold her own against the insane imagery the film serves up. Enter Zendaya Coleman. The ethereally pretty 19-year-old singer and actress has already proved her singing chops on Finding Neverland, and she can anchor a dance sequence as well: check out the clip above.


“Imagine a blend of Sesame Street and Hamlet,” PEOPLE wrote in its original 1986 review of Labyrinth. This was years before Pan’s Labyrinth, but can you imagine anyone nailing that mix better than that film’s director, Guillermo del Toro? Come to think of it, Pan’s Labyrinth is sort of already Labyrinth, only considerably less whimsical. This one seems like a lock.

Every Muppet Character

Andy Serkis. We’re just gonna have Andy Serkis do everything. Some of it will probably be the odd guest star in prosthetic makeup – presumably the queue of Hollywood stars slavering for a guest bit in a Labyrinth sequel is already a mile long – but there’s no reason Serkis can’t pull his usual motion-capture magic and breathe life into an endless parade of equally cute and creepy magical creatures.


Let’s just use the fake baby from American Sniper. It’ll be much easier to get through the stunt work. Jareth throws that baby around a lot during “Dance Magic Dance.”