Terry Gilliam at the Red Sea Film festival, December 2023
On this page is a summary of news about Terry Gilliam covering the year 2023.
1. “Satan and God” movie – speculation
Terry Gilliam spent a great deal of 2023 trying to gain full funding for his new feature film project, concerning God, Satan and the possible end of the world. He has written the script with Christopher Brett Bailey. At the Capri Hollywood festival in January, he announced that he had the perfect actor in mind for the role of Satan.
At the Red Sea film festival in December 2023, Variety reported that Gilliam announced that the actor he had in mind for Satan was in fact none other than Johnny Depp. As the year closed, there was no news on funding, nor whether Depp is actually interested in the role.
2. Into the Woods heading for the West End?
Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman directed Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the Theatre Royal in Bath in August 2022. The plan was subsequently to stage the musical in the West End. Throughout 2023, there were plenty of rumours of the Into The Woods production gaining such a home, but nothing firm has been announced as of the end of 2023.
An article in the Financial Times in April 2023 featured an interview with John Berry, former head of English National Opera, and now heading up Scenario Two. Gilliam’s production of Into The Woods, following its staging in Bath, was in the article described as planned for the West End. A number of photos from the Bath production have been added to Dreams.
The cast of Into the Woods at Theatre Royal, Bath in 2022
3. Gilliam Discs
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 4K
A newly restored version of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was announced for the Criterion label, available as a three-disc set featuring a 4K UHD version, a Blu-Ray version, and a third disc containing the extras. Here’s a summary rom the disc’s booklet:
The Criterion website contains detail of all of the extras, which include the 2008 commentary with screenwriters Gilliam and Charles McKeown, rather than the original Laserdisc commentary with Gilliam alone. The Criterion website also features a new essay by Michael Koresky.
Gilliam was interviewed by the Golden Globes website about the restoration. He said, “I saw it once again when we were finalizing the 4K version. As I was watching it, I thought, ‘This is a fucking great film!’ It felt as if I hadn’t been involved in the making of the film. I thought everybody involved was so wonderful, and it’s my one Italian movie.”
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 4K
Arrow released a new 4K UHD version of their Fear & Loathing disc in May 2023, featuring a commentary by Terry Gilliam and Dreams editor Phil Stubbs.
Fisher King Criterion 4K
Criterion upgraded their Fisher King release to include a 4K disc – released in April 2023.
Time Bandits Criterion 4K
In June 2023, Criterion also released Time Bandits on a 4K disc. In June, Gilliam spoke with the Playlist to plug the disc.
The Garden Cinema in London offered a retrospective of Terry Gilliam’s work from 24 February to 4 March 2023. The filmmaker joined journalist Jason Solomons for an interview, which is featured on this Dreams page.
Gilliam attended Ora! Fest in Italy in June, based in Monopoli – in the Apulia region of Italy, overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Also visiting the festival were Marisa Tomei, Matthew Modine, Matt Dillon and Lawrence Bender.
The Hollywood Reporter featured a video interview with Gilliam at Monopoli. And there was a second interview with The Hollywood Reporter, with no video. Gilliam spoke with Rolling Stone at Monopoli, and the interview – in Italian – is available at the Rolling Stone Italia website.
Gilliam in Monopoli
In July 2023, Gilliam attended Montone film festival, where he had a discussion with Rick Rubin, which was recently made available to listeners at YouTube:
In September 2023, Gilliam was guest of honour at the European Festival of Fantasy Film Strasbourg. He held a masterclass while there. Also, Gilliam was interviewed on video for DNA. In a radio interview from Strasbourg, Gilliam said he wants to retrieve the Defective Detective script from the hands of Paramount.
Gilliam delivering masterclass in Strasbourg
The MATERA FILM FESTIVAL took place from 30 September to 7 October, and Gilliam was a guest. At Matera, he was presented with a model of himself. Here are some photos:
In mid-October, Gilliam went to the Lumière Film Festival in Lyon, France. Also attending were Alfonso Cuarón, Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne and Wim Wenders, according to Variety. He spoke with Euronews at the Lumiere festival, with the filmmaker stating that we are living in a time when irony is nor recognised. There was also a video interview with France 24, where Gilliam speculated that he got away with murder in his career.
Gilliam at the Lumiere festival
In December, it was announced that Terry Gilliam is to be honoured at the Slapstick Festival in Bristol in February 2024. There will be two events with Gilliam. Both events will take place at the Old Vic theatre on February 18th. Gilliam said, “I’m delighted to be, at long last, honoured as a Slapstick joke”
A spokesperson for the Slapstick Festival said: “As one of cinema’s great visionary talents and an influential contributor to screen comedy, Terry Gilliam is the well-deserved recipient of 2024’s Aardman Slapstick Award for visual comedy.”
Finally, in December 2023, Terry Gilliam joined the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a Q&A at Vox Cinema in Red Sea Mall following special screenings of the documentaries Lost in La Mancha and He Dreams of Giants.
5. Other Interviews
1. An old interview with Gilliam resurfaced in January 2023. The director spoke with Lloyd Sachs in Chicago to promote Brazil.
6. Other News
1. Terry Gilliam has an executive producer credit on a new animated short film called AMOK, by Balazs Turai. It won Annecy Cristal for the Best Short, and Heart of Sarajevo for the Best Short. Here’s the trailer, which was made available in January 2023:
2. In February, a great article about Roger Pratt was added to British Cinematographer website. In the article, Gilliam says, “The thing about Roger is that we didn’t spend a lot of time talking on set about the process. We’d meet at our houses, as we did before 12 Monkeys, and on location to talk our way through mood and time or shadow often so I had more flexibility about where to place actors in the shot. Filmmaking is about problem solving and he was always ahead of the problems before they raised their ugly head. It meant I could concentrate on whatever else I needed to concentrate on. Roger’s efficiency made that possible.”
3. Jeff Bridges spoke with Rotten Tomatoes early in 2023 and chose his favourite Jeff Bridges movies. One of the five was Tideland. Bridges said, “This one was very low-tech and not a giant budget movie. We shot it in Canada and I play a junkie rock star in it for some of the film, and for a lot of the film, I’m a carcass, you know, a dead body. It’s based on a great book with the same title by Mitch Cullin, and very, very surreal. I’d even stretch it and say it’s the weirdest movie that Terry has ever made, for my tastes (although everyone’s got different tastes). But it’s macabre.”
4. In April, Gilliam – having apparently abandoned Facebook – started to place his updates on Instagram.
5. In order to try and please its rightwing base, the Conservative Party in the UK has attempted to portray itself as tough on immigration. One government minister Robert Jenrick ordered the removal of cartoon characters (including Mickey Mouse and Baloo the bear) painted on the walls to welcome children to the Kent Intake Unit (KIU) at Dover.
The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (PCO) decided to send a kinder message to children arriving in the UK. They decided to create colouring books for these children. Cartoonists involved include Terry Gilliam, Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman, Nick Newman and many others. Charity 38 Degrees became involved. In a short space of time, supporters raised the funds needed to produce and distribute the first run of these books. More than 4,000 colouring books have now made their way into the hands of newly arrived children. The book is occasionally available from the 38 degrees website in exchange for a donation.
6. A musical based on Terry Gilliam’s film The Fisher King will be staged in Paris in February 2024. It will be at Théâtre Le Splendid. For full details click on this link.
7. In March 2023, it was announced that Terry Gilliam would be a judge for a new competition to make an animated movie related to Pink Floyd.
8. In September, Gilliam was interviewed for a documentary on Debra Hill, who together with Lynda Obst, produced The Fisher King. Following a significant career as a producer, Debra Hill died in 2005. The documentary is being made by Causeway Pictures, and Jamie Lee Curtis is an executive producer on the documentary.