The Greek Myth That Inspired The Movie Labyrinth

Over the years there have been many movies based on Greek mythology, per Greek Reporter. "Clash of the Titans" — both the Harry Hamlin claymation version and the 2010 one — is an example. Hercules has been brought to the silver screen in both live action and animated. They are a rich source of drama and also fantastical tales. Many of the movies stick to the source and tell the story that has been told by millions over the years. The animated versions may have taken some liberties, but the story basically remained the same, and there were many of the same beats as the original. 

There are times, though, that the connection is not quite as direct. The people behind it may elect to do something to bring it closer to modern times. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is an example; it is based on Homer's "The Odyssey." Fantasy movies often use some elements of mythology as well. Take the movie "Labyrinth," which starred Jennifer Connelly and the late David Bowie, per Muppet Fandom. It drew from a legendary myth that has been around for thousands of years. 

David Bowie's role as Jareth in Labyrinth

The movie, per Muppet Fandom,  was loosely based on the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Via Greek Myths and Mythology, the story centers around the hero Theseus, who had to navigate a maze that had been created by Daedalus and avoid being killed by the Minotaur, which was half-man, half-bull and all bad attitude. King Minos of Crete was the one who ordered the labyrinth to be made. How confusing was it? Daedalus almost didn't make it out, and he was the creator. Theseus got a long thread from Ariadne, which he used to re-trace his steps to get out. 

When it came to the film, it was Jareth (Bowie), the Goblin King, who made the labyrinth, per IMDb. In the movie, 16-year-old Sarah (Connelly) was the one who had to go through the maze to rescue her little brother, who had been kidnapped by Jareth. There was a 13-hour deadline. Legendary Jim Henson directed the movie, so there were many fantastical creatures that were also puppets. 

Sadly, the movie, which came out in 1986, did not fare well in the theaters, making only a touch over half of its budget, per The Atlantic. When it came out on video, people embraced it, and it still remains a cult classic. That's no myth.