Metal Hammer

It’s February 1978 and Jim Henson is trapped. The mastermind behind the Muppets is snowed in at a Howard Johnson’s hotel in New York with his sixteen-year-old daughter, Cheryl. Most parents and children would be playing games or watching TV to pass the time; the Hensons are instead drafting a treatment for what would become the most controversial family fantasy film of all time.

The 25-page summary, entitled The Crystal, would be transformed across four years into The Dark Crystal – and would become the first true bomb of Jim Henson’s career. The mystical quest of a Gelfling creature called Jen fighting to save his planet from the corrupt Skeksis race proved too weird and dark for critics, many of whom had long boxed its writer/director/producer in as “the Muppet guy”.


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