Is there any film project more tenacious than Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote? The film just cannot be, er, killed, no matter what happens. Casting problems? It will overcome. Funding and script issues? This movie shrugs them off. Acts of God aren’t even enough.

The film first came together in 2000, with Gilliam directing Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort in the lead roles. The production was beset by disastrous weather, interruption from planes, and injury to Rochefort. The production was scrapped, inspiring the documentary Lost in La Mancha.

The film was revived in 2009 with a rewritten script and possible new casting, with Robert Duvall replacing Rochefort and Ewan McGregor eventually taking Depp’s role. But financing for that version dried up and the project went dormant again. Now the film’s screenwriter, Tony Grisoni, says the film is potentially happening once more. Read More »

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The surviving members of the Monty Python troupe –  John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin – have very rarely appeared as Monty Python since the death of Graham Chapman in 1989.

But the five actors have shown up together in various configurations in a few projects over the years. Now a new one is brewing: Absolutely Anything, a hybrid live-action/CG sci-fi farce that is planning to feature the living Pythons as “a group of aliens who endow an earthling with the power to do “absolutely anything” to see what a mess he’ll make of things.” Read More »

Briefly: You might remember that we’ve covered the new short from Terry Gilliam, The Wholly Family, a couple times in the past. It’s a weird setup, where Gilliam was one of a number of filmmakers hired by Italian pasta company Garofalo to make short films set in or otherwise concerning Naples. Gilliam’s movie is probably the most high-profile of the efforts, and it follows “an American family vacationing in Naples and the surreal visions of their young son after he steals a Pulcinella—the black masked unofficial mascot of the city—from a street cart.”

Most of us haven’t yet had a chance to see the short, but Anne Thompson passes along word that the film will stream from The Guardian for two weeks starting 7pm GMT on January 23, at a price of £1.99. (Currently about $3 US.) The offer isn’t available to residents of Italy, likely because of licensing concerns, but all other countries can access the stream. Those who check it out right when the film goes live will also get a live interview and Q&A with Gilliam.

Hit the break to check out the teaser for the short, in case you missed it when it ran last year. Read More »

Novelist Paul Auster has seen his work on screen through a variety of processes: The Music of Chance adapts his novel of the same name (not very well); Smoke and Blue in the Face are the product of a collaborative writing/directing process with Wayne Wang, and Mr. Wang also filmed The Center of the World, on which Mr. Auster was a story collaborator.

So: several films, but few direct novel adaptations. That could be in part due to the fact that his books aren’t quite straight fiction, but rather a blend of genre tropes, existential curiosity and magical realism. Not the easiest adaptations. Those elements also make up a good part of the ingredient list for Terry Gilliam‘s scripts, however, and so it makes sense that he is now writing a script based on Mr. Auster’s novel Mr. Vertigo. Read More »

One of Terry Gilliam‘s many recent non-feature projects is The Wholly Family, a short film funded by Italian pasta company Garofalo. The company commissioned a set of short films set in or otherwise concerning Naples, and Gilliam is one of the people tapped to take advantage of the option. We haven’t seen anything from the film since some stills hit in February, but a teaser trailer hit the web a week or two back, and you can see it below. Read More »

About a month ago, I wrote up info on a Dutch animated short called The Monster of Nix, which was notable for (a) some really wild character designs, and (b) the fact that Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits are voicing characters. It kinda flew under the radar, so here’s another chance to check it out.

A new teaser clip has appeared for the film, and it features the voice of Tom Waits as a very strange bird. Check it out below. Read More »

The very occasional working relationship between Tom Waits and Terry Gilliam is something that has given me great pleasure for a long time. It was a thrilling surprise when Waits played a cameo in The Fisher King in 1991; Terry Gilliam then used the Waits track ‘Earth Died Screaming’ for a key point in Twelve Monkeys, and it all lead up to Waits’ big role in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Now the Gilliam/Waits partnership is on again, but with a slightly new twist: the two are providing voices for a 30-minute short called The Monster of Nix, by Dutch artist/director Rosto. Read More »

Time Bandits is a wonderful kids movie that also happens to be clever enough for adults. It has grand adventure; weirdness that is both mundane (an impotent fairy tale prince) and outlandish (a troupe of time-traveling thieves); and it is deeply, wonderfully silly. Time Bandits is permeated by a sense of unpredictability that makes the film seem like it came from the mind of either a child or someone deranged. The mind actually belongs to someone in between those states: Terry Gilliam.

Now we may have the chance to see what would have happened if Time Bandits had been created by someone far more sane. The film is being envisioned as fodder for a remake. Or, perhaps, more like a total revamp, as the new film is being designed as the kickoff for a new action franchise. Face, meet palm. Read More »

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