Do We Need (Or Even Want) A TIME BANDITS Remake?

It’s evil! Don’t touch it!!

It seems as if there is a possible remake of Terry Gilliam’s wonderful Time Bandits in the works. Now, by in the works, we mean that people are talking about possibly making one. As Variety stated in an article about producers Guy Collins and Michael Ryan (formerly of Handmade Films, the production company that made Time Bandits) –

Collins and Ryan are also pushing ahead with a Time Bandits reboot and are in talks with a Hollywood co-producer to redo the Terry Gilliam pic as a bigscreen kids action franchise.

Sadly, this is not an April’s Fool Joke.

Now normally I’m very sanguine about remakes. As long as the original is still available, a remake isn’t that big a deal. But this one does get under my skin. Gilliam’s film is a masterpiece of fantasy, perfect in just about every way. And the idea of turning the film into an “kids action franchise” just sounds like a terrible dilution of what the film is actually about.

Now granted, for years, Gilliam had flirted with the idea of a sequel to Time Bandits. At one point, frequent collaborator Charles McKeown had even drafted a script, which we reviewed here. There was also a four-hour television mini-series and comic book version that almost happened.

Usually a remake is done by studio execs with more business savvy than artistic savvy under the notion that they can cash in on the original’s brand recognition. I have a feeling, though, that this strategy may backfire if this new version were to ever get made.

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About Rich Drees 7205 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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