Exclusive: Laika chasing Terry Gilliam for animated film

News Ryan Lambie
13 Mar 2014 - 15:03

A stop-motion film by Terry Gilliam? The director's exclusively revealed that the makers of Coraline have approached about making one...

"The whole point of animation to me is to tell a story, make a joke, express an idea," director Terry Gilliam once said on the 1974 TV programme, Bob Godfrey's Do -It-Yourself Animation Show. "Whatever works is the thing to use."

Once he started directing live-action feature films with Monty Python And The Holy Grail (which he co-directed with Terry Jones) in 1975, Gilliam put aside the wonderfully creative cut-out animations that appeared in shorts like Storytime (1968) and Miracle Of Flight (1974), not to mention the surreal moments he brought to the TV series Do Not Adjust Your Set and Monty Python's Flying Circus.

For Gilliam, live-action became "the thing to use" for much of his feature directing career. But wouldn't it be great if he one day returned to animation, perhaps as the director of a feature? That was something we suggested to the director during a recent interview, and he gave the surprising response that Laika, the stop-motion animators behind Coraline and ParaNorman, have approached him about this very notion.

"Do you think you'll ever direct an animated film?" we asked. "You'd be the perfect fit for something like that."

"I know," Gilliam said. "There’s the guys who made Coraline [Laika], who keep wanting to get together with me. They’re good people."

Before we get too excited, though, Gilliam was keen to mention that nothing had been agreed on just yet; "I’m really quite confused as to where I’m going to go next or what I’m going to do," the director told us. He also added that he was keen to design a videogame, and was waiting for a developer to contact him and invite him to collaborate on something ("I'm waiting for someone to come forward and say, 'Come on, Terry!'", he laughingly said).

But we're probably not alone in thinking that a stop-motion fantasy film from Terry Gilliam would be a marvellous thing to behold. It's early days yet, but we're hoping that Laika and Gilliam can find something to collaborate on soon.

Look out for our full interview with Terry Gilliam, which we'll be publishing very soon. Gilliam's new film, The Zero Theorem, is out in UK cinemas  tomorrow (the 14th March).

In the meantime, here's Terry Gilliam's appearance on that 1974 TV show. It really is something special.

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