Terry Gilliam has Vertigo


Gilliam fans, take note: Terry Gilliam is working on a screenplay for the book Mr. Vertigo. He makes it a clear point that it may not turn into an actual film, but that a script is definitely in the works. A script for the book had previously been worked on by Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer about a decade ago, but nothing ever came of it. The book is set in the 1920’s and the story revolves around an orphan named Walt who travels with the mysterious Master Yehudi on the road in a carnival circuit. Strangeness, likely, abounds. I think this is the closest to a Carnivale movie as we’re going to get, folks.

Coming from any other director, this news would be standard fare. However, when taking Gilliam’s troublesome past in film-making into account, it’s hard to get excited. I’ve been a fan of Terry Gilliam since seeing his oddball, quazi-futuristic Brazil at the ripe old age of 22. Since then, and now at the age of 26, I have become somewhat of a Gilliam connoisseur, having seen even the most obscure Gilliam films out there, such as The Fisher King and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Some fan favorites include the trippy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Twelve Monkeys and Time Bandits, all classics in their own right.

Gilliam’s latest film, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, suffered from having one of its leads, the late Heath Ledger, die in the middle of production, leaving the film on a shelf for at least a few months before actors Johnny Depp, Collin Farrel and Jude Law signed on to supplement Ledger’s last on-screen performance. The final result left a lot to be desired, possessing a scrambled plot and ambiguous main characters with unmotivated character arcs. I had been looking forward to Gilliam’s work despite his travails and hoped that Parnassus would be a return to form, but it seems that his vision has been clouded for some time. He may never make another brilliant movie like Brazil or The Fisher King ever again… however, as movie fans, we live in hope.

[Via IndieWire]