Another Terry Gilliam Movie is Becoming a TV Show

By  · Published on March 19th, 2015


Another Terry Gilliam movie is becoming a television show, and sadly it’s not Time Bandits. Nor is it a series based on Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing” books. It’s also not The Fisher King or Brazil or Jabberwocky or The Adventures of Baron Munchausen or Tideland or The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus or The Zero Theorem or The Man Who Killed Don Quixote or The Crimson Permanent Assurance short from The Meaning of Life or any other Monty Python effort. Have you figured out what’s left? That’s right: obviously The Brothers Grimm is being adapted to TV, because it’s not like there’s not already a show called Grimm or that other fairy tale based hit Once Upon a Time.

Deadline reports that Miramax got Ehren Kruger on board to expand upon his original script for the 2005 movie, which had some rewriting done by Gilliam and Tony Grisoni before going before cameras. Matt Damon and Heath Ledger starred in the big-screen version as the famous brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob, in a fictionalized time before they began writing down folk stories like “Cinderella” and “Snow White” and are just con artists who get tangled into some actual supernatural business involving magic, werewolves, mud monsters and an evil queen played by Monica Bellucci. It’s sort of like a Shakespeare in Love for the fairy tale icons.

The movie remains one of Gilliam’s lesser works (we can blame the Weinsteins), and I think I’m one of only a handful of the director’s fans who found enough of his soul in it to enjoy more than not. It’s very unlikely that the success of the surprisingly not bad 12 Monkeys show has anything to do with this other Gilliam movie being adapted for television. The popularity of other fairy tale shows is surely the reason. In fact, Deadline doesn’t even mention the guy in their report. Instead the focus is on Kruger (Transformers: Age of Extinction), who assures us the series will be faithful to the darker tone of the Grimms’ writing rather than the Disney versions informing Once Upon a Time.

“The original stories the Brothers set out to collect were not for the faint of heart and we’ll be making a show that gets back to those origins and their cautionary, scary, thrilling spirit,” he said.

So none of the wacky nonsense seen below, then?

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.