Walt Disney Pictures has obtained the rights to Labyrinth, a screenplay written by alumnus, Larry Brenner. Most media sources laud Brenner with being “discovered” after becoming a finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Script contest. However, long before his plunge into fame, Brenner was honing his skills right here at Spalding University.
Brenner graduated from Spalding’s brief-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program in 2010 and now teaches as a faculty mentor. The program, which is based on mentor-student relationships, strives to provide individualized curriculums that facilitate highly developed writing skills. Brenner attributes his success to the mentorship he received at Spalding.
“I really feel the education I received at Spalding transformed my writing, both as a screenwriter and a playwright,” says Brenner. “When I’m writing, I now have a good half-dozen mentor voices in my head.”
As he disclosed his inspiration for the story, he described himself as “a big Dungeons & Dragons playing, sci-fi/fantasy geek” who has always been fascinated by mythology. He further explains, “The story for this project has been in the back of my mind for years now and when the opportunity to pitch something to Disney came up, it was one of the first things that sprung to mind.”
Although the screenplay carries the same title of the 1986 classic, Disney’s Labyrinth will not be a remake of the former. Brenner’s screenplay will be produced as an action/adventure story that features a mythical princess heroine who must enter a dangerous labyrinth to save her father. Although it is too early to divulge filming details, Brenner stated that the movie will be a live-action film, not animated.
Now that his screen play has been picked-up by Disney, Brenner reports that he feels “amazing.” In an article he authored for Script Magazine, he states that he was not prepared for success but owes a great debt to the writing professors at Spalding, “partly because they really helped me to refine my craft, but also because they were there to help me with the decision making.”