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Sunday, July 21, 2024

No one Different Than George Harrison Needed to Make the Unique ‘Time Bandits’

As a result of Hollywood gained’t relaxation till it’s turned each Terry Gilliam film right into a TV present, Apple TV+ will quickly be releasing a Time Bandits sequence, starring Lisa Kudrow as a temporal plunderer. 

Whereas recycling ‘80s movies for contemporary audiences doesn’t at all times work (I’m taking a look at you 2014’s RoboCop), this present is produced by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, and judging from the recently-released trailer, it seems to be like quite a lot of enjoyable.

Gilliam’s unique 1981 Time Bandits was a box-office success when it first got here out, and it’s typically regarded to be among the finest kids’s fantasy movies of its period. However, like a lot of Gilliam’s work, it was an enormous ache within the ass to get made. 

As Monty Python followers are nicely conscious, George Harrison put up his personal cash to fund Lifetime of Brianmortgaging his residence and workplace when the Python’s backers pulled out on the eleventh hour. In consequence, Harrison and his enterprise accomplice Denis O’Brien stumbled into the movie trade, creating the manufacturing firm HandMade Movies.

Following the success of Brian, HandMade Movies made two extra motion pictures (together with the British gangster traditional The Lengthy Good Friday) earlier than producing Time Bandits. Gilliam approached O’Brien together with his thought for the kid-friendly fantasy, after failing to curiosity him in Brazil. In keeping with Gilliam, O’Brien “beloved” the pitch, and even steered enlisting Harrison to jot down some unique music.

However after Gilliam accomplished the screenplay with fellow Python Michael Palin, O’Brien was unable to acquire financing. “All people turned us down,” Gilliam defined. “This was earlier than E.T., and household leisure was not what any studio did then. Solely Disney did that type of film, and so they had been going by the Herbie Goes Bananas section.”

Quite than re-write Time Bandits to function extra sentient, sometimes sexy Volkswagens, O’Brien determined that they need to simply make it themselves. So, as soon as once more, he and Harrison remortgaged their workplace to boost the $5 million funds.

Palin later claimed that the financing difficulties had much less to do with the state of household leisure, and extra to do with the truth that Gilliam was not at all a bankable director. “On the time, only a few folks had been falling over themselves to do Terry Gilliam movies,” Palin confessed. “Terry had made Jabberwocky, which was a wonderful movie, however a darkish and weird movie. So Time Bandits was fairly a danger.”

The forged included John Cleese as Robin Hood, and Sean Connery as Historical Greek King Agamemnon, a job described within the script as “none apart from Sean Connery, or an actor of equal however cheaper stature.” Bolstered by its stars, the film was a success, even successful over famous curmudgeon David Letterman.

So was Harrison pleased that he caught his neck out to get the film made? Nicely, not precisely.

Harrison contributed only one tune to the Time Bandits soundtrack, “Dream Away,” which was seemingly about how a lot he hated working with Gilliam, who at one level threatened to destroy the unfavorable to his personal movie with a nail. The tune accommodates lyrics like, “Grasping feeling, wheeling, dealing” and “All you owe is apologies.”

“I loved listening to the tune, however on the time, I had no thought it was George writing his notes to me,” Gilliam mentioned of the tune. 

So if the 2024 model of Time Bandits actually needs to stay true to the unique, it ought to try to embrace a musical monitor filled with stealth behind-the-scenes shit-talking.

You (sure, you) ought to observe JM on Twitter (if it nonetheless exists by the point you’re studying this).

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