Real Jim Henson heads know that Sesame Street and the Muppets are child's play when it comes to the genius of everybody's favorite puppet master.
Before he created those iconic kids' shows, Henson was a subversive experimental filmmaker. He put his darker inclinations on display in the 1982 film The Dark Crystal, about an elf-like race called the Gelflings pushed to the verge of extinction thanks to a rivalry between a pair of powerful races called the Mystics and the Skeksis. Rather than the ABCs and wacky road trips of his other projects, Henson and his collaborator Frank Oz (who voiced Yoda), producer Gary Kurtz, and writer David Odell delved deep into war, death, and black magic. Now, Netflix is reviving their dark vision in a series called The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance, with a ridiculously loaded cast and an exciting combination of puppetry and modern visual effects.
The original film is a classic hero's journey about restoring a once-vibrant world to its former glory. The new series focuses on the dark days before the dawn, in which the surviving Gelflings and the more benevolent Mystics must organize a rebellion against the sinister Skeksis, who are poisoning the planet of Thra with their corrupt magic. According to a press release, it follows a trio of Gelflings named Rian (Kingsman's Taron Egerton), Brea (The Witch's Anya Taylor Joy), and Deet (Game of Thrones's Nathalie Emmanuel), who discover the shady figures threatening Thra and decide to do something about it.
The rest of the cast is just jaw-droppingly stacked. While their roles haven't been announced yet, the voices behind the other Gelflings our protagonists will encounter include Emmanuel's Game of Thrones co-star Natalie Dormer, as well as Alicia Vikander, Eddie Izzard, and fucking Helena Bonham-Carter. The Skeksis and the Mystics will be voiced by Mark Hamill—whose performance as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series is legendary—along with Keegan-Michael Key, Harvey Fierstein, Simon Pegg, and Andy Samberg.
“It is humbling to see so many truly gifted actors join The Dark Crystal universe by adding their voices to Age of Resistance," Lisa Henson, Jim Henson's daughter and CEO of the Jim Henson Project, said in a statement. "It is thrilling to see this assembled team of artists, puppeteers and now voice actors, many inspired by my father’s original film, work together to realize this unique world—through performance and craft—at a scale that is rarely seen today.”
Returning to the strange, psychedelic world of The Dark Crystal means, at the very least, a trippy-ass feast of puppet wizardry. That it will now include guillotine vibes and more celebrities than an episode of SNL is just rad as all hell.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance hits Netflix in 2019.
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