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SYFY WIRE Taika Waititi

Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi making Time Bandits TV series for Apple

By Jacob Oller
Time Bandits map

Terry Gilliam’s 1981 Time Bandits is one of the weirdest kid-oriented films out there, with its mix of British humor, bleak sci-fi, and one of the disarmingly unhappy endings in younger-skewing cinema. Now the time-traveling thieves are headed to TV under the command of the one man that might have a chance at nailing the complex tone of the original: Taika Waititi.

The director (and sometimes writer) of What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, Flight of the Conchords, and an upcoming episode of The Mandalorian will have his hands full acting as both co-writer and director for the pilot episode, which will be coming from Apple. That's a lot of action-y, genre-y comedy that isn't afraid of emotion — and Waititi will need all of that for Time Bandits.

According to Deadline, the busy genre mainstay will also executive produce the potential series with Gilliam and People of Earth’s Dan Halsted. The film follows an 11-year-old boy who gets sucked into a history-hopping caper being run by six dwarfs that helped God build the universe. Along the way he meets Napoleon, Robin Hood, and King Agamemnon. Make sense yet?

Turning the project into a TV show was yet another Gilliam initiative that’s taken years and years, not unlike his upcoming film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. But now, with an actual writer/director attached for the pilot, this thing is really going to happen. And, since Apple is currently snapping up original content for its TV offerings, it will likely go to series just on its IP recognition alone.

No word on when production on the Time Bandits pilot will start, though they could just travel through a hole in space-time so that the pilot will have always been completed.

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