While I may not consider myself to be the biggest fan of his work, it’s a shame to see Terry Gilliam struggle so much to simply get another film made. I often consider his ambition to be too large for his own good, but it’s hard to dispute that he makes movies like no one else, and this should be rewarded in some way. Seriously: Brett Ratner can get plenty of stars to be featured in his generic-looking heist movie, but the man who made Brazil has to fight for a decent budget? Come on.
After Don Quixote seemingly fell apart before our eyes, I began to wonder what else he could get made in what seemed to be such an unfriendly climate for him. It now appears that he may have found something, with a recent appearance at Poland’s Era New Horizons Film Festival bringing the news.
As TheRealGilliamFan (via ThePlaylist) reports, the filmmaker has begun writing an adaptation of the novel Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster. As he put it, “I got a book. It’s called Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster. And I’m actually working on a script of it at the moment.” Seemingly aware of his own history, he wanted to make it clear that it won’t necessarily be a movie, but just that he’s working on something.
JacketCopy has additional quotes from him, and in a classic self-effacing fashion, he said that as he began to adapt the book, he thought that it was “good stuff,” but then he “began to think” that he was wrong. Either way, he’s “trying to do that now.” The novel sounds like something he could translate to the screen effectively — it has sideshows, a traveling carnival, and a kid with an unusual ability, all of which he’s done before. But, really, hearing that he’s getting something else in motion is good enough news for me; I just hope he can get this off the ground, as he’s far too often failed to do.
You can read a synopsis of the book from Amazon:
Walt Rawley recounts his life: an orphan born in 1924 with “the gift,” he was seized by Master Yehudi, a Hungarian Jew who taught him to levitate. Yehudi takes the boy from St. Louis to his own Kansas menage, which consists of Mother Sioux and Aesop, a young black genius. (Also influencing Walt’s life is classy, henna-headed Marion Witherspoon, a seductive mom figure from Wichita.) After harsh training, Walt tours with his mentor as “the Wonder Boy,” aka Mr. Vertigo. Crammed into this road saga is the potent Americana of myth: the 1920s carnival circuit, Lindbergh’s solo, the motorcar, the ethnic mix, the Ku Klux Klan and the Mob, baseball and Kansas, “land of Oz.” Diverse mishaps descend, but eventually Walt glides into old age and writing.
Have you read the book, and do you think it’s good material for him to direct? Are you a Gilliam fan?