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Jim Henson directing Jennifer Connelly on the set.

This is a timeline detailing the pre-production and production of Labyrinth, as well as significant events in the history of the film that followed its release.



March 28th – Jim Henson meets with Brian Froud and Dennis Lee in London to discuss early ideas for the film.[1]

July/August - Jim Henson approaches David Bowie - who is in the U.S as part of his Serious Moonlight tour - to seek his involvement in the project.[2]

December – Dennis Lee hands in his novella of Labryinth.[3]


January 19th – Terry Jones starts the screenplay of Labyrinth, using Dennis Lee's novella as a starting point.[4]

April – auditions start in London for the role of Sarah.[5]

June 18th – Henson meets with David Bowie to discuss the film.[6] Henson shows Bowie a selection of Froud's artwork and The Dark Crystal to pique his interest.[7]

July 5th – Helena Bonham Carter auditions for the role of Sarah, alongside 19 other actresses.[8] Auditions continue steadily over the subsequent months, eventually moving from England to America as the decision is taken to cast an American actress in the role.

August 15th - Henson meets with George Lucas in San Rafael, California, to discuss the film.[9]

September 24th – a meeting is held between Henson, Laura Phillips, Larry Mirkin ( a producer on other Henson projects, and a consultant on Labyrinth) and Mira Velimirovich (Henson’s assistant). The main topic of the discussion is Phillips’ draft of the script, and how to best to incorporate Sarah’s emotional journey into the various set pieces featured in the film.[10]

October 18th – a shoot-test is carried out in London to determine the relative sizes of Hoggle, Ludo and Sir Didymus alongside humans.[11]


January 29th – Jennifer Connelly auditions for Labyrinth. She is cast within a week.[12]

Feburary 11th - Henson and Bowie meet in Gstaad, Switzerland - Bowie's residence for much of the 1980s - to work out the details of the project.[13]

February 15th - Bowie's involvement in the film is confirmed.[14]

February 26th – Henson meets with Elaine May to discuss the film’s script.[15] May makes various amendments that are incorporated into the film's shooting script.

April 13th – Henson hosts a pre-production party at his house in Hampstead Heath in London two days prior to the start of the shoot.[16]

April 15th – Labyrinth starts shooting.[17]

September 8th – filming on Labyrinth wraps.[18]

November 20th – George Lucas looks at the film with Henson, and helps him assemble a final cut.[19]

December 1st - a few minor re-shoots are done using Hoggle.[20]

Japan press laby3

Jennifer Connelly promoting Labyrinth in Japan.


June - The Goblins of Labyrinth by Brian Froud and Terry Jones is published by Henry Holt. The novelization of the film is published in the same month by the same publisher.

June 27th - Labyrinth is released in theatres across North America.[21] It is met with mixed reviews.

July 26th - Labyrinth is released in Japan.[22] Jennifer Connelly visits the country to promote the film.

November 28th - Labyrinth is released in the U.K and Ireland.[23]

December 1st - Labyrinth is given a Royal Charity Premiere to benefit The Museum of the Moving Image at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London. Prince Charles and Princess Diana are present, and Ludo is brought along to the premiere to greet the royal couple.[24]


January 28th - Labyrinth is released on home video in the U.S.[25]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. [[1]]
  2. Pegg, Nicholas. The Complete David Bowie. Reynolds and Hearn. 2002. Page 469.
  3. [[2]]
  4. [[3]]
  5. [[4]]
  6. [[5]]
  7. [[6]]
  8. [[7]]
  9. [[8]]
  10. [[9]]
  11. [[10]]
  12. [[11]]
  13. [[12]]
  14. [[13]]
  15. [[14]]
  16. [[15]]
  17. [[16]]
  18. [[17]]
  19. [[18]]
  20. [[19]]
  21. [[20]]
  22. [[21]]
  23. [[22]]
  24. Brochure for the Royal Charity Premiere of Labyrinth
  25. Think Labyrinth
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