Labyrinth: The Alternative Movie

I've read a copy of a very early script to Labyrinth. There are numerous differences which, in some cases, may have made for a better movie.

First, what is outright missing. There is no Bog of Stench and no threats by Jareth to throw Hoggle into said Bog. There is no huge machine guarding the gates of the goblin city. There is no wise-man-in-the-garden scene. Much of what does occur does so in a different order than in the filmed version. even the ending shows substantial differences.

A recap of the script will show how different a movie Labyrinth could have been.

Sarah is late getting home and her dog goes into the house with her. There is no opening rain storm. The dialogue between Sarah and her step-mother is also considerably different, with Sarah being perhaps even more defiant and distant than in the film.

The scene of her going into the baby's room is similar at first, but it quickly changes. Sarah does not wish the goblins would take Freddie (the child) away, but sings him a "macabre lullaby" instead. The doorbell rings and Sarah goes downstairs. There is the author of the play she is going to perform in. He enters the home and follows Sarah back up to Freddie's room. Sarah becomes upset at this familiarity, and she, Freddie, and the author (Zakar) go back downstairs. Zakar enters her living room and there uses what appears to be a goblin puppet, but the puppet mysteriously ends up inside a cabinet. The puppet, of course, is a real goblin. The goblins suddenly appear from everywhere while Zakar grabs Freddie. Sarah tires to stop him and grabs on to his cloak and is pulled up through the ceiling into the sky. Unfortunately, she cannot hold on and falls.

She crashes into some flowers that Hoggle is growing. Hoggle attacks her with the spray can but she grabs the can, then grabs Hoggle and lifts him up off the ground. There is then a discussion about the kidnapping of Freddie and the gate to the Labyrinth appears.

Unlike the film version, though, this gate opens to reveal a goblin army inside, most of them armed. Hoggle agrees to show Sarah another entrance into the Labyrinth. The negotiating, ending with Sarah giving him her bracelet, is virtually the same, as the scene of Hoggle killing the fairies.

They get into the Labyrinth and the first thing they run into is the Stone Faces that give their messages of doom, beware, and so on. This, of course, was much later in the filmed version. Sarah marks a brick and goes exploring, and a creature raises the brick up and turns it over, hiding her mark. This, also, occurs much later in the film version.

Jaareth then appears to Sarah inside the Labyrinth instead of outside by a tree as in the film. The conversation is somewhat similar to the film, but Jareth reveals that he might turn Freddie into a goblin, rather than have Freddie automatically become one at the end of 13 hours as in the film.

Jareth leaves, and then we have the worm scene, this time with both Hoggle and Sarah present. The discussion about finding their way through the labyrinth is quite different, as is the appearance of the wise man with his hat right then. Sarah asks the wise man how to get to the castle and he starts rambling on abut what a castle is, and keeps on rambling, and keeps on rambling, and so forth.

The scene then shifts into the interior of Jareth's castle and, again, differences are numerous. Jareth at this time sends his armed goblins after Sarah, rather than as it was done in the movie, rather near the end. The hunting of Sarah and Hoggle by the goblins is done in a darker, more ominous manner than in the film, with none of the slapstick humor that was present in the filmed version.

Sarah and Hoggle escape and get to the beginning of the Garden Maze but are still in the corridor where the scene with the goblins pushing the device with lots of knives occurs. Hoggle vanishes through the floor in this version. Sarah ends up in a room with numerous paintings, all showing scenes of her adventure in the labyrinth, or images of Freddie or Jareth. One painting shows Hoggle in the hedge maze, and Sarah ends up entering the painting in the style of Alice going through the mirror.

The scene with the freezing of Ludo happens next, with Ludo, once freed, lifting a log and using it to frighten off attacking goblins. The three friends next go to the two doors with the knockers. The scene with the doors and the riddle of one of them always tells the truth, the other always lies is totally missing in this script. Sarah goes through the door, but Ludo and Hoggle get stuck trying to get through the door at the same time. The door closes. The other door opens and Hoggle rushes through that, then falls down a steep hole. Ludo is left alone momentarily, but the wise man appears and he wanders off with him.

Hoggle has ended up in a pool of water (no Bog of stench, remember), and he can't swim. Sarah, meanwhile, encounters the fieries. The scene shifts back to Hoggle, for Jareth and goblins have now appeared. The goblins use poles to push at Hoggle while Jareth presents the peach idea.

Hoggle agrees to give Sarah the peach. The scene then shifts back to the fieries (called Wild Things in the script). Suddenly a door opens in a boulder and Ludo appears. Rather than grabbing Sarah's head and trying to take it off, with the result that Sarah takes off the Wild Thing' heads, Ludo does the head-snatching. Ludo and Sarah find Hoggle, rather than Hoggle rescuing Sarah.

Then comes the scene with Sir Didymus which is moderately close to the filmed version. Later Hoggle gives Sarah the peach. Her first reaction is that everything is dancing, and she looks up at the sky.

The scene shifts to the castle, where Freddie seems to be keeping the goblins pretty busy. It is also evident that Freddie has already begun to turn into a goblin, as his feet are now goblin feet.

The ballroom scene is fairly similar, although some differences do exist.

After Sarah gets out of the bubble she ends up in a junk city instead of a junkyard as such. There are various tents with people selling their wares in the script version. Instead of the junk woman handing Sarah more and more things to keep her there, the floor turns into a sea of mud in Sarah's "room" and everything in the room falls on her.

Meanwhile Hoggle is drowning his sorrows in drink at a pub, giving his "treasures" to the bartender in payment for the drinks.

Sarah escape her room on her own without being rescued by Ludo. The junk woman is seen to be Jareth operating a puppet of the junk woman.

Sarah meets up with Ludo and Sir Didymus and they enter the goblin town where doors start shutting and it looks like a scene from a western where a gunfight is expected. Hoggle is still drinking, but the wise man appears at the bar, says something abut drinking is used to forget things, and that stirs Hoggle into leaving.

In the goblin town the goblins attack in force and a full-scale battle ensues, complete with Sarah using a sword to fight the goblins. Ludo ends up calling the rocks as he did in the movie while Hoggle drunkenly enters Jareth's castle.

Ludo, Sarah and Sir Didymus meanwhile are in deeper trouble, trying to flee a huge group of goblins when a goblin on a ledge pulls a lever and opens a bottomless pit, trapping the three between the pit and the goblins. Hoggle appears and fights with the goblin, sending it into the pit. He is hit by a spear and falls, apparently dying, upon the lever, closing the pit and allowing the others to escape.

The first part of what happens within Jareth's castle, with Sarah trying to find Freddie, is pretty much the same, but things change rapidly after that. Sarah jumps off one stairway and ends up on a huge bed where it is obvious that Jareth is interested in having sex with her. Sarah resists him fairly easily, then runs to get Freddie. Jareth grabs her arm, after which Sarah refers to Jareth as a "miserable creep" and proceeds to give him a solid punch to the jaw and then kicks him in the shins.

Jareth then starts to whine about no one caring what he wants. He pounds his fists and feet and that causes a crack to open up which Sarah promptly proceeds to jump into. She awakes in the nursery where she has apparently bumped her had on the corner of an open drawer. Freddie, meanwhile, is crawling to he room and she soon follows. Freddie wants Lancelot, the teddy bear, and she gives it to him.

End of movie. There is no scene with the major characters being there saying they will come when she wants. Hoggle apparently is dead, and there is still left a question about whether the adventure ever really happened or not, as it could have been that she fell in the nursery, hit her head, and imagined everything else.

There is no doubt that this would have been a darker, more ominous version of the movie with none of the slapstick comedy. Sarah also does not seem to give up being a young girl, as she does in the movie. rather, it appears she is already quite a strong personality in her own right.

Whether or not this version of the film would have been more successful is questionable. There are songs referred to in the script, centering about what was actually going on at the time, although no words for any of the songs are given, just a general idea of what the song would have been about at a particular point.

I also think the wise man's numerous appearances would have not gone over well, and Hoggle's apparent death would cause some parents to question whether young children should see the film or not.


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