Terry Gilliam Preparing To Shoot Short Film 'The Wholly Family,' Mentoring Animated Film '1884'

Terry Gilliam may not be making that second take on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote after all, but don't think he isn't busy. He's already done a webcast with the Arcade Fire this year, and made that strange NASCAR-themed short film, The Legend of Hallowdega.

Now he's got another short planned that will go before cameras early in 2011. Details on The Wholly Family, after the break.

The short film, which should run about fifteen minutes, is based on a script by Mr. Gilliam that he wrote as an 'exercise'. [via Bleeding Cool] He's currently looking for American actors to play a father, mother and young son, and " a series of Italian supporting players with mime, ballet and circus skills." Gilliam by way of Fellini? Oh, yes. Plus, his regular collaborators, cinematographer Nicola Pecorini and costume designer Gabriella Pescucci, will work on the film.

Let's hope it is a lot better than Hallowdega — in this case the funding comes from Italian pasta company Garofalo, which is commisioning a series of shorts about or set in Naples. What a strange film climate we're in right now.

Meanwhile, one detail that we didn't report not long ago is that Terry Gilliam is also acting as the 'godfather' for Tim Ollive's animated film 1884. Mr. Ollive has worked on most of his godfather's projects over the years, starting with Life of Brian. 1884, a brief concept clip for which can be seen below, is a fun-sounding project, as it purports to be a film made in 1848, well before film was invented.

Or, as Variety says, it " imagines a film made in 1848 with steam power, narrating a tale of laughable imperialist derring-do and espionage set in a futuristic 1884, when Europe is at war, steam-powered cars fly in the sky and man has landed on the moon."

The film will use animation, live-action puppets, CGI characters and the eyes and mouths of real actors. Brings to mind the idea of a Jan Svankmajer film filtered through the sensibility of Gilliam and his collaborators. In other words: very promising.