After seeing Jim Henson and Frank Oz‘s The Dark Crystal return to theaters last winter for its 35th anniversary, we were reminded why this movie kept up its status as the best live-action, high-fantasy film for two decades–until the arrival of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings series.  The set for Aughra’s beautiful pinnacle of all set pieces–the location of that mechanical wonder called the Orrery–showcases a fantasy creation that has yet to be surpassed in any film.  We first mentioned Netflix green-lighting the return of The Dark Crystal universe last year here at borg, as the studio began work on the ten episode series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.  No other news has surfaced publicly about the series until this week.  We now have the first three images of the three lead character Gelflings, and an award-winning roster of voice actors.  And good news for The Dark Crystal fans: Aughra will be returning, voiced by Donna Kimball (Community).

Taron Egerton (Robin Hood, Eddie the Eagle, Kingsman series) will be playing the voice of Rian (below, left), Natalie Emmanuel is the voice of Deet (below, right), and Anya Taylor-Joy is the voice of Brea (above)–making up the trio to lead the film.  Other Gelflings will be voiced by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter series), Emmy winner Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie, The Riches, Treasure Island), BAFTA nominee Mark Strong (Shazam!, Green Lantern, Kick-Ass, Kingsman series), Golden Globe nominee Toby Jones (Doctor Who, Harry Potter series, Marvel movies, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Golden Globe nominee Caitriona Balfe (Super 8, Outlander), plus Natalie Dormer (The Hunger Games series, Captain America: The First Avenger), Shazad Latif (The Commuter, Black Mirror, Star Trek Discovery), and Theo James (Underworld series).

And it doesn’t stop there.  Voicing the Skeksis and urRu (or “Mystics”) are BAFTA winner Mark Hamill (Star Wars, The Flash, and Kingsman series, Batman animated series),Golden Globe nominee Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter series, Star Wars Rebels, Star Trek Discovery), BAFTA nominee Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Star Wars series), Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator, Tomorrowland),  Emmy nominee Harvey Fierstein (Hercules, Independence Day), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (The BFG), Ralph Ineson (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Kingsman, and Harry Potter series), and Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live).  Other voice roles will be performed by the puppet actors.

Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company and daughter of Jim Henson, said in the Netflix release, “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.”  Here is the Netflix description of the series:

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance tells a new epic story, set many years before the events of the movie, and realized using classic puppetry with cutting edge visual effects.  The world of Thra is dying.  The Crystal of Truth is at the heart of Thra, a source of untold power.  But it is damaged, corrupted by the evil Skeksis, and a sickness spreads across the land.  When three Gelfling uncover the horrific truth behind the power of the Skeksis, an adventure unfolds as the fires of rebellion are lit and an epic battle for the planet begins.

Production design is by Emmy winner Gavin Bocquet (Star Wars series, Young Indiana Jones, The Bank Job).  Music is by Golden Globe nominee Daniel Pemberton (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).  Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) is director of the series, produced by The Jim Henson Company, and executive-produced by Letterier, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford.  Longtime Henson collaborator Rita Peruggi will serve as producer and HensonCo’s Blanca Lista will serve as a co-executive producer.  Co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The 100) are the show’s writers.

Catch up on the creation of the mythos of the story in The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History by Caseen Gaines, reviewed here at borg.

Netflix has not released a date for the new series, but expect it sometime next year.

 

 

 

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