It’s been 30 years since “Labyrinth” was released and David Bowie haunted us -- in a good way -- as the Goblin King.
Since the rock legend died on Sunday, fans have been reminiscing not only about his music, but his memorable role as Jareth. That’s why we’re taking a look at 10 things you didn’t know about Bowie’s Goblin King in the classic '80s film.
1) Michael Jackson was also considered for the role.
In the original script, the Goblin King only showed up halfway through the movie. However, director Jim Henson then had the brilliant idea to have either Jackson or Bowie play the role. The script was then rewritten so that Jareth appeared (and sang) throughout the movie.
2) Henson sent a handwritten letter to Bowie asking him to play the Goblin King.
Henson sent Bowie a rough version of the script along with the letter. In the note, the director revealed that the script needed “a bit of polishing” and that he thought Bowie “would be wonderful in this film.”
Since news of the singer’s death broke earlier this week, fans have been sharing a photo of Henson’s note on Twitter. The image was taken in 2013 at an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
— Sean Fitzgerald (@SeanDFitzgerald) January 11, 2016
Another photo of the letter was taken in Berlin while the note was on tour with the Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibit “David Bowie is.”
3) Sarah’s scrapbook of her actress mother has a newspaper clip featuring David Bowie.
4) “Labyrinth” was a box office failure, but gained a cult following thanks to Bowie’s rock star status.
According ET, it was Bowie’s “humour and androgynous, punk-rock style” that made the Goblin King his most iconic role. At the time, film critic Bruce Bailey wrote: “He has just the right look for a creature who's the object of both loathing and secret desire.”
5) Jareth’s face is secretly hidden in seven scenes throughout the film.
Can you spot him?
6) Bowie made the baby noises in the song “Magic Dance.”
According to Den of Geek, the singer didn’t think the recordings of a real baby were good enough.
7) While it looked like Bowie mastered the art of juggling crystal balls, it was actually professional juggler Michael Moschen who did all the tricks.
To do this, Moschen hid behind Bowie and did the stunts completely blind.
8) The scene where Sarah takes a trip down a tunnel of hands was Bowie’s inspiration for the film’s song “Underground.”
9) Jareth the Goblin King’s character was based on two literary figures: Heathcliff from “Wuthering Heights” and Rochester from “Jane Eyre.”
Jareth’s eccentric appearance was then inspired by Marlon Brando and Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, according to the film’s concept designer Brian Froud.
10) Baby Toby made a bad first impression with Bowie.
Baby Toby was played by concept designer Froud’s son, who is also named Toby. While he was much too young to remember filming with Bowie, Toby told Portland Monthly, “I believe the first time I met him, I peed on him.”
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