With Terry Gilliam's luck what it is these days, it might be smart for him to move ahead with projects when he can. In the case of his next film, Good Omens, may mean not casting as he would prefer. It seems that the religious fantasy comedy, which is based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, may begin shooting as early as this winter now that Stephen Evans has stepped in as producer. Brendon Connelly at Film Ick points out that schedule won't fit Johnny Depp's, and the actor will therefore not be starring as was hoped. In fact, actors Gilliam had in mind for other characters, namely Robin Williams (who is always good in Gilliam films, if not much else) and Jonathan Pryce, are also expected to be unavailable at that time.
As an enormous fan of Gilliam, I have to say I'm completely bummed. Not so much because of Depp and Williams not being in the movie, but more because I would prefer it if Gilliam could deliver his exact vision, as he so famously fought for on his earlier pictures. Sure casting is just one simple part of the vision, and using actors who aren't your first choice isn't as horrible as being forced to shoot a happy ending to Brazil or urged to use CGI in The Brothers Grimm, but knowing that a different movie exists in Gilliam's warped and brilliant mind, is enough to make for a disappointing end-product. I will admit that Grimm probably wouldn't have been much better had (supposedly) original choices Depp and Williams been cast, and I was surprised at how enjoyable Matt Damon and Heath Ledger are in the film. So, don't think I will be taking prejudice with whoever is cast in Good Omens. But I won't be able to help imagining the film that should have been.