This week sees the release of Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of HandMade Films by Robert Sellers, published by Titan Books. Started by the late George Harrison, the British production company was responsible for Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, Time Bandits, Withnail and I, Mona Lisa, and more. Very Naughty Boys is an expanded and revised edition of the 2003 book Always Look On the Bright Side of Life.
There are many fascinating and even painful anecdotes throughout Very Naughty Boys, all culled from interviews with John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, and others involved with HandMade. One particular anecdote that stands out involves a proposed sequel to Gilliam’s Time Bandits that never got made. The film probably could have been great, though one element of the plot is pretty dated.
Check out what Gilliam had to say about the Time Bandits sequel after the cut. Look for our full write-up of Very Naughty Boys tomorrow.
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From Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of HandMade Films by Robert Sellers:
‘I said we could do it for $30 million,’ says Gilliam, ‘but they didn’t think so. Or maybe they just didn’t like the script. The plot’s about saving the world from God’s wrath on the millennium. God had bottled out on the first 1,000 years, because he was going to destroy the place, it was a disaster, and now come [the year] 2000 he’s finally going to do it. Actually, God is a total schizophrenic at this point, he’s got a devil hand-puppet that he talks to all the time; this was before South Park and the schoolteacher character with his puppet. And there were going to be new Time Bandits, the daughters of the old guys who have worked their way up through the creation departments and are finally getting equal pay as women. It’s a really good tale.