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WIRE Buzz: Terry Gilliam gives update on Time Bandits TV show; Jordan Peele inks Universal deal; more

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Oct 1, 2019

Apple TV+’s upcoming TV adaptation of Time Bandits has been slipping in and out of holes in the spacetime fabric since its announcement last summer, with just the update that Hollywood’s hottest writer/director Taika Waititi (Thor: RagnarokWhat We Do in the Shadows) would tackle its pilot breaking the silence. Now original creator Terry Gilliam has spoken up about the time-hopping, relic-taking show ahead of Apple TV+’s Nov. 1 debut ... but things are as muddled as ever.

Speaking to TotalFilm, the Monty Python member explained that he’ll be a “non-writing executive producer” on the show and that he found out about Waititi’s involvement with the show “via the web.” As Gilliam put it, “so much for correspondence and information.” While no news has broken about the development of the series or the preproduction of any potential pilot, Gillaim was clear about where he stands.

“My contract is not quite signed,” Gilliam said. “I’ve said, 'When it's signed, let's get to work.' It’s been around for a long time, and I actually stopped it being on television, because I just wanted the movie to be a thing, but with streaming—Netflix and Apple—you can’t escape it."

Initial reports also suggested that Gilliam would only come onboard if the pilot met his standards—and was ordered to series by Apple—so this patience is not unprecedented. Gilliam is no stranger to production roadblocks, nor long-spanning development. Time Bandits may just follow suit.


Next, a contract that IS signed: The mastermind behind Get Out and Us is staying put for the time being. Jordan Peele, Oscar-winning multi-hyphenate behind CBS All Access’s The Twilight Zone, among other projects, has signed a first-look deal with Universal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That’s the studio that paired up with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions to bring genre hits Get Out and Us to audiences—and big box-office dollars. A new five-year deal replaces Peele’s former two-year deal, which was signed back in 2017. This means that Peele’s next two films as writer/director are coming from Universal.

“It would not have been possible to make Get Out and Us without the endless trust and support we received from Donna Langley and the team at Universal,” Peele said in a statement. “Their willingness to take risks and their commitment to original content makes them the perfect collaborative partner for Monkeypaw.”


Finally, Ang Lee’s Gemini Man has already impressed some fans and critics with its stunning CGI and exciting action. But a new interview about the Will Smith-starring clone movie has revealed some of the more detailed technical achievements of the boundary-pushing director.

Speaking to TotalFilm, Lee explained that the film—which is Lee’s second to shoot in the high frame rate of 120fps, after Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk—will still be groundbreaking. A single-shot sequence through a store during a shootout partway through the film was the first ever 120fps, 3D Steadicam shot ever done.

This innovation required lots of adaptation from cast and crew. Sure, Smith and others had to tone down their acting, but there's more to it than that. The costume designers had to think more detailed, the lighting used by cinematographer Dion Beebe was a third stronger than usual, and the makeup artists? On Lee’s “dimensionalized” film, their role is nebulous. Why? Because the actors don’t wear makeup. They can’t, because the camera would reveal it so clearly. Yes, Will Smith really does still look that good.

Fans can try to spy these details and more when Gemini Man shoots into theaters on Oct. 11.

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