Terry Gilliam's still fighting to adapt Good Omens (but maybe not as a film)

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Feb 3, 2014, 6:08 PM EST

After more than a decade, Terry Gilliam's still not giving up on an adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's beloved apocalyptic comedy.

For a while, it seemed like the 1990 World Fantasy Award-nominated novel featuring an angel, a demon, the Antichrist, a witch, a book of prophecies and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was destined for the big screen. In the early 2000s, Gilliam -- the Monty Python legend and acclaimed director who just returned to sci-fi cinema with The Zero Theorem -- had a script ready and had Johnny Depp lined up to play the demon Crowley and Robin Williams to play the angel Aziraphale. Then financing fell through, and ever since then fans of the ever-popular book -- as well as Gaiman, Pratchett and Gilliam themselves -- have been hoping for new life in the project.

Gilliam is no stranger to fighting against decades-long setbacks on projects. He was all set to make his time-travel adventure The Man Who Killed Don Quixote back in 2000 when a number of mishaps forced him to abandon the shoot, and after another false start just a few years ago, he finally seems to be on track to complete that film. So it's no surprise that he hasn't given up on Good Omens yet, either.

"The script’s still there… but I think it’s in the hands of receivers, because the people we did it for went bankrupt," Gilliam said in a new interview. "But I did talk to Terry Pratchett’s people and to Neil about getting it going again."

Gilliam also noted that new life for the project could mean a new format for the story. Good Omens is a very plot-heavy novel filled with multiple character viewpoints and subplots and detail, and as such Gilliam and screenwriter Tony Grisoni had to condense everything down to a 150-minute screenplay. Now, with the possibility of a Good Omens resurgence looming, Gilliam's hoping to perhaps go bigger.

"I thought it might be perfect thing for maybe six-part TV, because then we could do the whole book," Gilliam said. "I mean, we had to make the [book’s subplot about the] Four Horsemen into something much more condensed."

So, while we don't have any official word that a Good Omens adaptation is happening, Gilliam once again seems to be hoping for one, and he might even expand the story for us.

(Via The Playlist)