In the 1980s Michael Jackson was working hard to secure his spot in popular culture. The star released the Thriller song and film in 1983 to great success and was working on Moonwalker. As a huge fan of film, he was eager to get involved in anything he could. In 1986 he missed out on the Jim Henson film Labyrinth.
Labyrinth is the iconic movie starring Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, who goes on a quest to find her baby brother after he was kidnapped by Jareth, the King of the Goblins.
Connelly was one of two people in the film, as the rest were puppets and costumed creatures in the fantastical fictional world of Henson.
The other actor in the film was David Bowie, who played the malevolent and musical Jareth.
In a new interview, it was revealed Jackson missed out on the role of Jareth by the skin of his teeth.
Henson’s children, Brian and Cheryl Henson, were recently interviewed about Labyrinth, prompting Brian to reveal: “I can’t speak for my siblings, but I can say for me, I vaguely remember the name Sting coming up. I definitely remember Michael Jackson and David Bowie.”
.Michael Jackson was left ‘scared’ while filming iconic music video
Michael Jackson almost worked with Jim Henson
Michael Jackson missed out on playing Jareth the Goblin King
Brian continued: “I had just been at university for the one year that I went to college, and I can tell you that I was going from nightclub to nightclub, and Michael Jackson and David Bowie were the two biggest names in my generation, for sure.”
While there were a few big names floating around, Brian gave his father a push in Bowie’s direction.
He explained: “When [Jim] asked me, I was leaning in favour of David Bowie. I just felt like Bowie had a quirkiness and yet a really coolness that would work really well for my dad.”
Brian had a reason for not wanting to put Jackson in the picture, however.
Michael Jackson missed out on the Labyrinth role to David Bowie
Brian explained: “Michael had a perfection to his work that would have been tough. I think it would have been tough for Michael to be Michael in Labyrinth.
“He would have had to compromise his perfection, and then maybe that’s no longer Michael, whereas David [Bowie] was always unpredictable.
“I remember going with my dad to see David in The Elephant Man on stage and saying: ‘God, this is such an unusual artist, David Bowie.’ All I remember is when he asked me, I said: ‘I think David Bowie.'”
Bowie made quite the impact on the film, even secretly playing the lover of Sarah’s mother in hidden details throughout the film.
Although Jackson missed out on the film this time around, he did go on to make his own films in the following years.
The aforementioned Moonwalker in 1988 included a collection of music videos with a budding narrative throughout.
On top of writing and starring in Moonwalker, Jackson also wrote and starred in a 1996 horror movie titled Michael Jackson’s Ghosts.
For this picture, Jackson teamed up with Stephen King to bring to life Normal Valley, a location filled with ghosts and ghouls.
Labyrinth is available on Netflix now.
Read More: Hollywood News
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