terry gilliam memoir

Someone who cracks open Terry Gilliam‘s Gilliamesque hoping for a comprehensive and complete portrait of the man’s career may be disappointed. The memoir from the director of Brazil, Time Bandits, and The Fisher King is akin to having a nice, long sit-down with an eccentric uncle who stories to tell and grudges to share. It’s a little rambling and it occasionally leaves big questions unanswered, but at the same time, of course it is. This is Terry Gilliam after all. The guy who directed The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He has a yarn to spin and he’s going to spin it his way.

Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir is captivating reading for anyone with an interest in the filmmaker, who began his career as the Monty Python troupe’s animator and eventually segued into making some of the best and most interesting movies of his time. Gilliam dives deep into his childhood in Minnesota, his adolescence in California, and his attempts to make it big in New York City and London. The book is halfway over before he even gets to the Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

And yet that first half paints a detailed portrait of an artist to be. You can see the elements that later become vital components of Gilliam’s career surface throughout his early life in surprising, funny, and occasionally depressing ways. Let’s run down a few of them, shall we?

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melissa mathison dead

Melissa Mathison, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter who wrote screenplays for filmmakers as varied as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Oz, has passed away after a battle with neuroendocrine cancer. She was 65 years old.

Although her filmography showcases a command of several genres, she will forever be known as the woman who wrote E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. By playing a key role in one of the most beloved films of all time, Mathison touched the lives of millions of people all over the world.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass trailer

At this point Disney has more live-action fairy tales in various stages of development than we can count, but the movie that kicked off that whole craze to begin with was 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. The Tim Burton-directed adventure racked up more than $1 billion worldwide, making a sequel more or less inevitable, and now that sequel is almost here.

James Bobin (The Muppets) replaces Burton in the director’s chair this time around, but the original cast is back including Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. There are some new characters, too, including Rhys Ifans as the Mad Hatter’s dad and Sacha Baron Cohen as Time himself. Watch the Alice Through the Looking Glass trailer after the jump. Read More »

fantastic beasts first look

You’ve got to hand it to J.K. Rowling – she’s certainly not resting on her laurels. In the years since she wrapped up her seven-novel Harry Potter series, she’s dabbled in new genres, even writing under a pseudonym (which ultimately became the worst-kept secret in the world) for a few books. And now that she’s returning to her Wizarding World, a universe that helped the define popular culture for a generation,  she seems intent on exploring as many mediums as possible.

With the actual Harry Potter sequel, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, heading to the London stage, Rowling is making her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a film set in the same universe as The Boy Who Lived, just 80 or so years earlier. And now our first look at the film, and its hero, played by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, has arrived.

UPDATE: Several more images from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have been released, and you can find them all after the jump.

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The Golden Compass

A great many people are fans of Philip Pullman‘s His Dark Materials trilogy, and a whole lot of said fans probably remember how disappointed they were when The Golden Compass, based on the first of those books, came out in 2007. It was really a blessing that the film didn’t do well enough to spawn any sequels, as originally planned. Especially because if it had, we wouldn’t be getting our hopes up for a new small-screen adaptation of Pullman’s story.

BBC One has announced that it’s making a new drama series based on Pullman’s books, which center on Lyra Belacqua, a young girl living in a parallel universe where people’s souls exist outside their bodies in the form of animal companions (known as daemons). And the story only gets weirder and wilder from there. More about the His Dark Materials BBC project after the jump.

Deadline reports New Line Cinema is producing the His Dark Materials BBC drama with Bad Wolf. Pullman, who is executive producing, gushed about the project.

It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media. It’s been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel — and now comes this version for television. In recent years we’ve seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterization and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.


Pullman’s His Dark Materials books are typically categorized as YA fantasy, but are much more complex than that label would suggest. Not only does it have a big, sprawling plot, it dives deep into philosophical and theological issues. The series as a whole has been acclaimed by adult critics and readers as well as kids. In fact, the last book, titled The Amber Spyglass, was the first children’s book ever longlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, one of the biggest problems with the Golden Compass movie was that it watered down the source material, downplaying its more complicated and controversial elements in order to appease the box office. Not that it helped — it still drew ire from religious groups and did middling business. All in all, it seemed like a waste of good source material, a good writer and director (Chris Weitz), and a good cast (including Dakota Blue RichardsDaniel Craig, and Nicole Kidman).

It’s unclear how many episodes the His Dark Materials BBC drama will have. But the fact that Pullman mentions long, layered stories like Game of ThronesThe Sopranos, and The Wire suggests that one of the advantages of a show, as opposed to a movie, is that Lyra’s story will have more room to breathe on the small screen. Details on who’ll fill out the new cast, or when it’ll shoot and when it’ll air, have not been revealed.

Fantastic Beasts book

2016 is going to be a big year for Potterheads. Not only is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — a play described as the eighth Harry Potter story — opening in London next summer, the big-screen spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will make its way to theaters next fall. Shooting on the latter is already underway, in fact, but it’ll be a while before we get the first trailer.

So to tide us over in the meantime, Warner Bros. has unveiled the new official Fantastic Beasts logo. Check it out after the jump.  Read More »

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First ‘Warcraft’ Footage Gets Right to the Action

Warcraft tease

We know, we know: these so-called “trailer teases” are just a cheap way for studios to milk all the publicity they can out of a couple minutes of footage. But we also know that there are plenty of Warcraft fans who’ve been dying to see even the tiniest bit of action from Duncan Jones‘ new movie. And who are we to make you wait? Watch the very first footage from Warcraft after the jump.  Read More »

Warcraft poster

When you’ve invested upwards of $100 million into a game with 7 million subscribers around the world, you don’t half-ass the promotional campaign. So even though Warcraft is still seven months out, Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment are getting an early start on putting the word out. Following a handful of new stills this weekend, Warcraft has just revealed a splashy new poster, as well as details on the imminent trailer release.

Check out the first Warcraft poster, and get Warcraft trailer release details, after the jump.

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Warcraft Movie Photos

We’re just a couple months away from the end of 2015, which means it’s time for the marketing of the films of 2016 to begin, and Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft is starting small with some new images from the video game adaptation set for a summer release.

The new set of Warcraft movie photos show off glimpses of three primary characters: Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), Durotan (Toby Kebbel) and Orgrim Doomhammer (Robert Kazinsky). Check them out below! Read More »