Terry Gilliam To Godfather Retro, Sci-Fi Fantasy '1884'

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 21, 2010 7:42 AM
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The hot new job title to have around Hollywood is "Creative Godfather." Christopher Nolan is the most prominent name to have the mantle, as he overlooks Zack Snyder's upcoming "Superman: Man of Steel" but another helmer has quickly taken a shine to the new moniker.

Director Terry Gilliam is set to take on the role of Creative Adviser to the forthcoming "1884," a film that will mix live-action puppets and CGI. The ambitious film "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 picture will be directed by Tim Ollive, a digital animator who actually has a long relationship with Gilliam, having worked with him previously on a number of films including "The Life of Brian," "The Meaning of Life," "The Fisher King" and "The Brothers Grimm."

The film will use actors' filmed eyes and mouths and insert them onto CGI heads, while "backgrounds will feature collages of miniatures, film, graphics and period photography." All of this will be done on a tiny $8 million budget.

In case you missed it, Gilliam's last effort was the energy drink mini-movie thing "The Legend Of Hallowdega." He's currently gearing up for a production of Berlioz's "The Damnation of Faust" at the English National Opera in London that will keep him busy until September 2011 at the earliest, so no word yet on what is happening with his long delayed "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," which found its financing come apart earlier this fall.

We feel for Gilliam and we like his bravely individualistic stance, but he hasn't made a good movie in a while. Perhaps he should heed the advice of his "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" star Christopher Plummer, who thinks he should get a writer. We think that's a great idea and there's nothing more that we'd love to see than Gilliam direct the hell out of a great fantasy script -- even if it's not his own.

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