Terry Gilliam could tackle one of these three genre projects post-Don Quixote

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Aug 7, 2018

With director Terry Gilliam done making The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (now, done fighting for the rights to the film is another story), what’s next for the visionary filmmaker? Well, although it’s obviously up in the air and nothing is set in stone, The Playlist has pointed to a couple of interviews that suggest what the director of Time Bandits, Brazil, and 12 Monkeys could work on next.

For example, sculptor, poet, and novelist Brian Catling told The Guardian that Gilliam is looking to adapt his fantasy novel The Vorrh for the big screen. The Vorrh is the first volume of a 1,500-page biblical fantasy trilogy.

Mixing biblical myth with art and science, the novel takes place just after World War I, where colonists are seeking the titular Vorrh, a sentient, semi-tropical African forest that some believe is home to the Garden of Eden. Whether or not it’s true, it’s home to cyclopes, angels, and bestial creatures who roam the trees. It also causes anyone to enter the forest to go insane.

So, on one hand, this definitely sounds like something up Gilliam’s alley. (He’s gone on the record praising the story.) On the other, it’s a tough book to pitch to producers.

“The problem is, film producers want you to sum it up in one page,” Catling told the Guardian. “They haven’t got patience to read the thing. They say, ‘What is it? What does it do?’ Those questions are a blank wall to me.”

He could also go back to making The Defective Detective, something Gilliam himself has recently suggested could be his next project. In an interview published late last month with Vanity Fair Italia, published in Italian and translated back into English (badly, we might add) from Google Translate (so, caveat emptor), Gilliam suggested that he may work on Defective Detective, which was originally supposed to be a film but could become a TV series for Netflix. 

The Defective Detective centers on a burnt-out cop investigating a missing child who gets drawn into an absurd fantasy world of floating trees, a knight on horseback, and massive filing cabinets. It’s apparently been a deeply personal story for Gilliam that he’s tried (and failed) to get off the ground for a while now. 

But Defective Detective has been a project that Gilliam has been mulling for years — no, seriously, years — so don’t hold your breath on that one.  

And finally, an article from Madame Faits on Cinema suggests that the filmmaker could resurrect yet another project that’s been in development hell for years: Mr. Vertigo, a film based on the novel by author Paul Auster, that would star Ralph Fiennes. 

Mr. Vertigo follows a young orphan who learns how to levitate and travels across the country during the 1920s as part of a sideshow carnival. (So, another project that definitely sounds like something the director of Time Bandits and Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas would make.)

Okay, let’s be honest: A lot of these seem like long shots. Heck, even Gilliam himself told Vanity Fair: “I really do not know what I will do. And I do not mind at all. I want to ‘play,’ leave all the doors open, go on holiday with my wife.” (But on the bright side, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote seemed like a long shot for years, too. But lo and behold, that finally got made.)

So, until Gilliam officially announces what he plans to make next, we can continue to speculate. And of course, wait for the legal mess surrounding The Man Who Killed Don Quixote finally gets untangled. 

(Via The Playlist)

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