One of the most loved fantasy films of the 1980’s is Time Bandits. If plans move ahead on a reboot of the film, prepare to be very, very angry.
Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin of Monty Python fame co-wrote the 1981 film Time Bandits with the former also stepping up to the director’s chair. The story followed a young boy who gets caught up with a band of dwarves who work as assistants to God and made off with the Almighty’s map of time portals through out history. Bored with their lives, the dwarves have decided to jump through time, stealing anything valuable that they come across. While off on their adventure, the ultimate Evil wishes to obtain their map so he can spread himself through out time.
That is about the most simplistic explanation you can give to this imaginative movie that has become a cult classic over the past three decades. And, of course, Hollywood now wants to mess with it.
According to Dark Horizons, a group of producers is getting together to reinvent the story as a franchise of kids action films. While nothing has been said to the look and feel of the film(s), it will more than likely entail losing all of Gilliam’s trademark visual panache that he brought to the original.
Once again we are left to wonder if Hollywood is totally bereft of new ideas. It seems as if no film is ever just a film any more. They are “reboots”, “reimgainings” or designed specifically to launch a franchise of endless sequels. Occasionally you get something such as District 9, but in general you get cookie cutter films that couldn’t care less about story if they tried.
Time Bandits was not a perfect movie, but it was endearing and enjoyable. It stood out from the numerous other fantasy movies that came out in the 80’s (Legend and Labyrinth to name but a few), and still holds up as a wholly watchable film. While not officially part of the Monty Python productions, the inclusion of Palin, Gilliam and an albeit too brief appearance by John Cleese made it feel like their work. And if you know anything about Python, you know how wacky that made the story.
To relaunch this film as a kids series is just annoying beyond belief. Hollywood is making it insanely difficult for me to care about anything that they are doing any more. If they aren’t shoving 3D down our throats at every turn, they’re producing films that simply don’t need to be made. While this film firmly falls into the latter category, my gut tells me it will fall into the former as well.
Just say “no” to the Time Bandits remake, people.