It can be heartbreaking being a Terry Gilliam fan. For whatever reason, the visionary director often has trouble securing financing for his films and even when he does, there can still be problems that keep him from getting a project made (see Lost in LaMancha).
So it’s with a dash of caution in my optimism that I report that Gilliam is currently working on a screenplay for a new film, an adaptation of Paul Auster’s novel Mr. Vertigo.
According to The Real Gilliam Fan, the director was at Era New Horizons Film Festival in Poland doing and Question & Answer session and revealed –
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. Doesn’t mean it will be a film; but I’m working on a script.
You have to admire Gilliam’s self-deprecating sense of humor.
I have to admit that I am not all that familiar with Auster as a novelist. I do know that he collaborated with Wayne Wang on the stories for the films The Center Of The World, Smoke and Blue In The Face and helped with the direction of the latter two films as well.
From the description of the plot on Wikipedia, it does sound like a story that could be right up Gilliam’s alley –
It tells the story of a young orphaned boy from St. Louis, Walter Claireborne Rawley, who happens upon a mysterious traveler known only as Master Yehudi. Master Yehudi trains Walter to fly and they begin traveling across the United States performing this feat at circus sideshows. Many times they are faced with hardships such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Chicago Mob, and Walter’s drunken uncle, Slim.
Why am I picturing a film that looks like Gilliam had directed Big Fish? We’ll see if this project comes to fruition.