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Dark Crystal sequel may be headed to DVD

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by Phillip, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. JMPrater

    JMPrater Well-Known Member

    It's still isn't making logical sense. When the comic-con footage premiered almost 18 months ago, there was obvious evidence of puppet performance footage, the puppets themselves, etc... Fast forward, 2008, and physical production hasn't started? The last official report [or one of them] mentioned that pre-production was nearly completed and it was looking as if the film would go in to full production, of course, as everyone knows, production was stalled due to unforeseen financial reasons.

    I find it difficult to believe that productioon hasn't begun as of yet. I'd like to hear a more official source as opposed to hearsay and speculation [thanks a lot Latino Review]. I don't doubt you [GelflingWaldo]as sincere, but aside from that short and yet unfocused snippet handed down to fans through Henson about this DVD debacle, we don't have any real indication where things are at in terms of physical production.

    In many respects, the information age has made the playing field in terms of what people want to know and how quickly they want to know it, quite difficult to keep up with. Years ago, before the internet, people couldn't really see anything, save for trailers & posters in the theaters. That was business as usual. Now, here we are, in a time where every minute, some one can log on to their favorite site and see what's going on, [or in our case, what isn't going on] with their favorite, singer, movie, etc...

    I realize, as a creative person myself, this is a lesson in patience, but on some levels, this is the path they've chosen [the internet] and Henson & Genndy and Co. must realize this. They've already released information through the web when the momentum was high, and now, they've retreated into the quiet, while the fans they've tempted are waiting on every breath. This is no pixar film, this is no Disney animation film, this is a sequel to one of the most visually stunning films ever produced. The Dark Crystal's legacy is vast, it's characters imprinted magically in our brains and on our hearts, not just for the magic that Jim Henson conjured, but for the wizardry & technical feat it took to be able to make something so rich as to live on for the past 25+ years.

    Creatively speaking, in terms of films, there is no other film that has affected everything that I have done as an artist then The Dark Crystal. This film is like my child, it's every frame precious, it's every action, a slice of heaven. Pardon the issues I've taken with this planned sequel. I'm not sure if any one else feels as passionately as I do about the original, but to be offered the chance to re-enter Thra, and see Kira, and Jen again is probably the most excited I've ever been about a film coming to the cinema.

    There is a lot to live up to, and a large shadow has been cast by the life of Jim Henson. I am just anxious and skeptical that this production is meeting the standards that even they've set up for themselves. So far, with next to zero news, and/or no sort of diary [pre production through post-production] I'm quite nervous.

    J.M. Prater
  2. The 11th UrRu

    The 11th UrRu Well-Known Member

    This isnt the best example as Praters already pointed out, but a lot of the secrecy before hand was due to Spielbergs desire to keep the script and story hush hush.

    The movie is really just a small part of what Im getting at. Its nice to know that you waldo know that the release is 18-24 months away, now how bout they let the rest of us in on that. Thats what Im talking about. As far as Major press releases go, please point them out to me. Other than the director announcement in early 2006 I cant find anything from the company on the movie that breaks any kind of big news. If Im you or Phil, I ask for a position with the company or some coin because as far as communication and interaction with the fanbase goes, you both have basically done their job for them.

    Well it better be one of those films, theres a lot of fans they should be trying to win. The other franchises youve mentioned dont have to do that.

    Like I said, Im not mad, just disappointed a little... next time you talk to the company ask them why ThePowerOfTheDarkCrystal.com and PowerOfTheDarkCrystal.com are registered to some guy in New Jeresy and a college kid in Arizona respectfully. I hope they work for the company.
  3. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

    1: I think Gendy is a bad choice of dperson to helm this feature.
    2: I think studios faith in Hensons as a creative outlet has diminished since Jims death and subsequent sell off / buy back / sell off.

    Those two points really do plant the sequal in the DTV arena.

    However.... and as much as I hate to say this, I still think that the Dark Crystal Brand has enough power to generate more interest than its currently receiving.

    When the original was made, it was at a time when practical and physical effects had peaked. Jims art was only possible because the technical aspects used to deliver that art were unsurpassed.

    But to deliver a peice to the same degree of quality, with CG Vfx is really not that special. Everyone is doing it, even in films you would not consider to be effects heavy. So acheiving the look and feel for the movie really would not be as technical a feat as it was with the original.

    So the real issue is why are Hensons moving the goal posts on this? Well, the blurb from PR obviously paints a rosey picture, and that may infact be the exact case...

    But you also have to realise that for every great film that hits our screens, 10 more never make it past development ****. I fear that this sequal may be suffering that fate.

    I dont think its because the IP is flawed. Its a strong story set in a world familiar to millions of fantasy film lovers. I am certain that Hensons have brought in some strong conceptual artists to broaden the worlds scope. I think the real problem is the fact that in general this film is 7 years to late. Its the tail end of the Fantasy Film wave that got a boost with Lord of the rings and then lost its momentum by the time you arrive at Eragon and Bridge to Terrabithia (sp?). I think you may find Stardust was an exception to the rule and the Fantasy wave needs a rest to recover before we get The Hobbit film from New Line.

    This is the main reason why you probably wont see a DC sequal in the theaters unless Brian and Lisa can convince the studios that:

    A: They can deliver something so wonderfully unique and worth every dollar and beyond
    B: That all is well at Hensons and the fact that Neither Jim or Frank ar involved in this venture should impact the show overall.

    I too would be very reluctant to invest money in this show. This is why you are reading about it now possibly being a Direct to DVD show. Worst case? Well, you may well one day soon be reading that its now a TV special *cough cough* *Muppets Wizard of Oz*
  4. dabauckham

    dabauckham Well-Known Member

    You do have a good point about the fantasy film arc coming to a temporary end, Craig. That does seem like a valid reason to delay the film. On the other hand, strong fantasies are still being made - just looks at "Pan's Labyrinth", an amazing feat by any standard. Of course, that was an exceptional film, not just a "good" one.

    I do hope that DK2 doesn't disappear off the radar. A made-for-TV special feature would be just awful...
  5. JMPrater

    JMPrater Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't say the Fantasy genre has come to a standstill. There have been some underperforming films, Stardust, The Golden Compass and a couple of others, but there have also been Triumphs, such as the aforementioned Pan's Labyrinth, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and a few more.

    The Spiderwick Chronicles, & Inkheart also look very exciting. The problem with a lot of these fantasy films is that they're trying to ride on the heels of the LOTR films, as opposed to just be the best that they can be. I feel like The Power of the Dark Crystal falls somewhere in between trying to capitalize the market at the moment, and trying to make fresh an amazing legacy of a film.

    Of course, I digress, we don't know what stage this Dark Crystal sequel is in at the moment. There is no release date, no real stills of the film, no official site, not really an official word. We're completely in the dark, excuse the pun. By next year, if indeed The Power of the Dark Crystal releases, the Fantasy train may in fact be dead.

    J.M. Prater
  6. petrieboy

    petrieboy Well-Known Member

    I really do hope that the film will look like a puppet film, and not a cgi film. Everyone does cgi, and the technology will improve over time. But the only way to improve on puppetry is to find a better artist who makes better puppets and uses them in better ways. If you ask an average person what famous puppets they can think of, you're going to get Howdy Doody and Jim Henson products. Jim Henson Company is a master at puppetry. If the original Dark Crystal has been CGI, it would look seriously dated, and not have nearly the big following it has.

    I also hope they're going to make it creepy and truly scary and funny. I saw the original in the theater as a child, and I nearly had a heart attack when Fizgig (sp?) appeared. I was terrified when the Gelflings were cornered by the Skeksis with the funny voice. The black shelled things (Sorry, I know my DC term knowledge is lacking) freaked me out. Ogra and her eyeball were creepy and very funny. And I remember laughing at Keira's reasons for Jen not being able to fly "Because you're a boy" And the little pod people or whatever you call them, were very cute. It was also sad in parts...
    Wow, I'm remembering the magic of Henson right now, and feel like watching the film, which I haven't seen in... enough years to want to see it again.

    I hope they follow Roger Ebert's rule for sequels, which I'll paraphrase... So many think that simply copying the formula of the first is enough (Home Alone 2 is a prime example). A true sequel goes beyond the first, teaches us new things about the characters, and puts them in a completely different storyline, and shows us NEW things. Prime examples: The Empire Strikes Back, Babe: Pig In The City
  7. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

  8. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    No problem! I'll switch to sending complimentary Muffin baskets, giftwrapped of course.

  9. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Muffin baskets. That'd be nice. We should all send muffin baskets to JHC, especially when they deliver an A+ sequel! If we like it, let's send them something nice, folks!
  10. JMPrater

    JMPrater Well-Known Member

    I'm definitely stoked to hear them answering a few questions about POFDC, it's promising. All of the email they receive should solidify for them how anticipated this film is.

    Time for the next step, an official site.

  11. Craig Crane

    Craig Crane Active Member

    working in the CGI VFX industry, I can already see the trend for Fantasy coming to a end. Pans labrynth is now two years old. Golden Compass and the Narnia series will be the last of the genre for a while once the franchise is fully wrapped.

    The genre got a much needed boost with LOTR and then you get a few contenders, many pretenders and then the next B.O genre takes over.

    Same with Horror, same with Sci fi, same with WWII, Same with Westerns, same with comic and game adaptations... its this very natural motion that actually sustains the industry

    I just think JHC may have missed the boat on this. They should have struck whilst the Middleearth iron was still hot
  12. JMPrater

    JMPrater Well-Known Member

    The problem with a show of this magnitude is that, unless they went the fully CGI route, there is no way that they could have produced a film, of quality, with the budget constraints they have to work with, in time enough to be a sizable contender with other films.

    In terms of sheer work, I'd say the CGI backgrounds are the easiest things they can accomplish. Aside from that, everyone has to remember that we're talking about a massive undertaking in terms of puppet design, execution, testing, production, and not to mention LENGTHY rehearsals and finally, performance.

    These are not just actors we're dealing with, but actors within actors. The puppeteers are the actors behind the foam latex, so that means hours of laborious rehearsals where every step is coordinated so the people running the radio controlled eyes can be in perfect synch with the actor performing the movement of the puppet/s themselves.

    The original film didn't take 6 years to produce just because they were lazy. I'm in agreement that the stalling of this film is in the end what's hurting it, and by the time it does release it may be a bit late for a fantasy film to survive, and survive well. BUT, that said, I believe that The Power of the Dark Crystal will debut much the way it's predecessor debuted, a very strange, intensely artistic, captivating, but perhaps out of place film. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I'd rather the magic of these films continue on quite understated and under appreciated and singular, then get lost in the Eragons & Inkhearts that are quickly produced and released. The original stands as a major work of art, more then just a studio release, but something not yet reproduced in any way, and stands the test of time after repeated viewings.

    J.M. Prater
  13. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Actually, had it not been for JHC, I don't think the fantasy film genre would be where it is today. They were already ahead of their time with Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, so I don't feel they've missed a boat at all, but set it sailing!
  14. SkeksisGirl

    SkeksisGirl Member

    I personally didn't like Mirrormask. I felt that the story was incomprehensible, the production value was very bad, the CGI was awful and the acting was painful to watch.

    I also feel that Neil Gaiman is not this great storyteller that people make him out to be. And this is from just watching three of his films, one which I actually enjoyed. I was excited to rent Mirrormask when it came out and was sorely disappointed.

    Yeah, and we saw how well that worked for George Lucas in his 99% CGI everything for Star Wars. CGI is NOT the future, it is a tool, if it was just the future then there wouldn't be movies like Hellboy, Iron Man, Aliens vs Predator, Indiana Jones, or The Wolf Man coming out. A LOT of directors and movie makers still prefer having tangible things/people to be there for actors to react to.

    Look at the difference in performance of the actors who interacted with most of the sets and characters in the Star Wars Prequels and those who acted with Gollum in LotR.

    I'm sick and tired of people going "Oh... CGI is the future, let's just get rid of all those practical effects, we can just put something in later." it's bull. I stick to how I feel about CGI, "ONLY when it's absolutely needed". I'm not going to accept something that I don't have to accept.

    The original Dark Crystal was a masterpiece without CGI, if they are using CGI in the sequel to enhance things instead of having people react to things that aren't there 99% of the time, I'm fine with CGI. If it's gonna look anything like Mirrormask... I'm gonna puke.

    If a lot of people hear that it's a direct to DVD sequel a lot of them are gonna go "screw that". So far, only movies I know that do moderately well on direct to DVD sequels are Disney movies, and they have the advantage of being cartoons.
  15. LeanneRivett

    LeanneRivett Well-Known Member

  16. JMPrater

    JMPrater Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link Leanne, these images have actually been around for sometime. They're quite interesting and really showcase, more then anything, how'd Genndy & Co. would go about utilizing CGI to render these backgrounds. Sets of this nature would be near impossible. I hope however, when it comes to an intimate forest or the settle of the Crystal Castle, they utilize real sets and take advantage of practical effects as much as possible.

    J.M. Prater
  17. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    This thread really isn't worth keeping open since JHC has said it isn't happening.

    Still, the debate continues of CGI or actual puppetry.

    I think we'll see some CGI effects for sure, but JHC is really trying to do new things with puppets, so I can't see them forsaking one for the other, but using both together.

    Considering Jim Henson was there for the creation of W.A.L.D.O. on The Jim Henson Hour and MuppetVision 3D. I don't think Jim would have been against it since he was a forerunner for the craft. I do think he would have used it WITH puppetry.

    Francis the Adorable Badger is actually used as CGI real-time puppets, so they are using puppetry to maintain the CGI action, but no actual puppets.

    It's all up in the air at this point and you know they're going to do whatever they're going to do regardless what we wish. Let's just hope it's going to be great!

    And, I feel, it will be!
  18. Monsoon

    Monsoon Active Member

    If a DVD means a better plot, better effects, and what not, that's fine with me. I'd rather spend my money a decent DVD sequel, than on cheesey movie.
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    That sentiment makes sense to me.

    You all remember, Toy Story 2 was supposed to be direct to DVD but was so good they put it in the theaters.

    Either way I feel confident that the movie will be fantastic.
  20. JMPrater

    JMPrater Well-Known Member

    Well, as aforementioned, this film WON'T be headed straight to DVD, at least, not for now.

    J.M. Prater

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