The New ‘Dark Crystal’ Netflix Series Won’t Use Any CGI

Keely Flaherty
TV Fantasy
TV Fantasy Streaming Netflix

By now you’ve probably heard that Netflix is going to be releasing a new 10-episode series called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance — a prequel to Jim Henson’s beloved 1982 movie The Dark Crystal. Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company and Jim Henson’s daughter, and Age of Resistance director Louis Leterrier stopped by New York Comic-Con to delight audiences with a few facts about the upcoming series.

The Series Won’t Use Any Computer-Generated Imaging — It’s All About the Puppets

The Dark Crystal

“I love CGI,” Leterrier said, “but we won’t be using CGI in this one. It’s puppets, man. It’s all puppets.” Technology allowed the filmmakers to utilize different methods of puppeteering than Jim Henson had available in the ‘80s — Leterrier described the puppeteering as “more action-oriented” — but it’s mostly old school technology. The team is utilizing a green screen to remove puppeteers in post-production. Henson added, “That’s pure puppetry. We have no human cast to join us on [stage tonight] because we have no humans in the show. It was a massive endeavor.”

The Prequel Will Tell a Story About the Lost Gelfling Culture

The Dark Crystal

The Dark Crystal fans probably remember that in the original movie, Kira and Jen stop at the Wall of Destiny and see the ruins of what was once a beautiful Gelfling community. “That [scene] was our jumping-off point for the whole series,” Henson said. “What was that culture? What was lost? What was that beautiful Gelfling civilization?” The series will show us “many groups of Gelflings living in all different types of geography.” The official Netflix synopsis currently reads: In this prequel to the fantasy classic, three young Gelflings inspire rebellion against the cruel emperor when they discover a horrifying secret.

The Series Took a Full Year to Film

The Dark Crystal

Filming for Age of Resistance just wrapped last week, and according to Leterrier, it took a full year to complete. “Every day, for one year, with puppets, filming,” he laughed. “It was a work of love, of art, and we can’t wait to share it with you.” Henson added that this project was a long, long time in the making. “We’ve been wanting to make a sequel or some kind of spin-off for a really long time. It has been the most exciting year of my professional career. It’s a dream come true to bring Dark Crystal to life with puppets, and to do ten hours of it.”

Game of Thrones Is One of the Show’s Big Influences

Jon Snow, Game of Thrones

The filmmakers used modern influences for the new series, including The Last Airbender, The Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones. Henson said each show “has a lot of depth and detail in the world building,” which is something they hoped to do as well.

Age of Resistance Will Appeal to New and Old Fans Alike

The Dark Crystal

Leterrier knew the show needed to serve existing fans, but also create new fans — and he believes the classic Henson aesthetic will appeal to both. “Kids these days haven’t seen puppets that look like this,” he explained. “This is quite different, and sometimes quite scary. It’s multi-generational. The design and look is exactly the same [as the original], you’re going to like it.”

There’s no set release date for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance yet, but needless to say, we can’t wait to see it.