Little is known about Netflix’s “The Dark Crystal: The Age Of Resistance,” a 10-episode prequel to the beloved 1982 fantasy film created by Jim Henson. No release date has been set on the project, which wrapped filming just last week. Director Louis Leterrier and creative executive producer Lisa Henson, daughter of the late Jim Henson, appeared at New York Comic-Con on Friday to share a few details about the upcoming project.
“I cannot believe we are talking about ‘The Dark Crystal,'” said Comic-Con panel moderator Josh Horowitz, a longtime fan of the classic film, which used intricately handmade puppets to tell a story that took place 1,000 years ago on the planet Thra, when a magical gem called the Dark Crystal was broken. The plot follows Jen, the last survivor of the Gefling race, who sets out to find a shard of the Dark Crystal and defeat the evil Skeksis race.
“We’ve been developing this project for seven years,” said Leterrier, “and then we eventually found exciting partners in Netflix. And we realized that the canvas was so massive. Like Jim Henson [says], it was his biggest, hardest task and his greatest achievement,” Letterier said.
“We’re not using CGI on this one,” he divulged. “It’s puppets, man. Puppets!”
Wanting to pay homage to the original film, they kept the method of creation exactly the same, using handmade puppetry operated by puppeteers. The only difference is that now, the use of green screens allows them to remove the body of the puppeteer from the frame in the editing process.
Horowitz coaxed a teaser out of Henson, asking her what she could share about the plot of the remake.
“In the original movie, Jen and Kira stop at the Wall of Destiny and they see the ruins of what was once a beautiful Gefling culture, and we took that as a jumping of point for the whole series,” said Henson, hinting that the prequel may give a glimpse of the planet Thra before the Dark Crystal was cracked.
“What was that culture, what was lost, what was that beautiful Gefling civilization? It’s very developed, with a big canvas with many different group of Gelflings…it’s rich.”
For the remake, Henson drew inspiration from “shows that have a lot of depth,” she said, listing “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings” as examples.
“We need to serve the fans…but also we need to create new fans. Kids these days, they haven’t seen puppets that look like this,” said Leterrier. “It’s different and sometimes quite scary. There’s action and drama and a few deaths,” he hinted. “You’re going to like it.”