CATEGORIES Movies



Monty Python reunited at the Zeigfeld Theater in NYC last week to celebrate the new, six-part IFC documentary 'Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer's Cut),' which airs through Thursday and is out on DVD. While the Pythons slid across the red carpet, Moviefone snagged director Terry Gilliam to chat about the forthcoming 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' which features Heath Ledger's final role, and the resurrection of 'The Man Who Killed Quixote,' the project co-starring Johnny Depp that originally ended in disaster and was chronicled in the documentary 'Lost In La Mancha.'



Monty Python reunited at the Zeigfeld Theater in NYC last week to celebrate the new, six-part IFC documentary 'Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer's Cut),' which airs through Thursday and is out on DVD. While the Pythons slid across the red carpet, Moviefone snagged director Terry Gilliam to chat about the forthcoming 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' which features Heath Ledger's final role, and the resurrection of 'The Man Who Killed Quixote,' the project co-starring Johnny Depp that originally ended in disaster and was chronicled in the documentary 'Lost In La Mancha.'

With regards to the latter film and returning once more to the land of La Mancha, one wonders if there were any personal and professional life lessons that Gilliam learned over the course of the last decade that will enable him to turn this film into the masterpiece that he wants it to be. "It's very funny," he replies with a smile. "When you're trying to get a film off the ground you're pushing and pushing and pushing and maintaining momentum, and we went down a couple of roads that, when I look at it now seven or eight years ago, weren't working. We were just trying too hard. That distance was very good, and along the way I started incorporating things that have literally happened, things like making Tideland. I think we've made the characters much more interesting and much better. To me, the whole thing just sparkles now. I also threw a lot of stuff out. There's always stuff that's too ambitious for the kind of money we can get, so I decided not to waste time and get rid of that stuff and simplify it. So we'll see. I read the script now and think, 'Why couldn't I see that before?'"

As far as 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' Gilliam is pleased with the end result, especially considering that the role originated by Ledger was finished by Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law. And they were not stand-ins for Ledger. "They're in it!" declares the director. "They're completely in it. So you've got four people playing the part that Heath started and died in the middle of. [First] you've got Heath, and then as you go through this magic mirror they become Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, and it's just astonishing."

"It's extraordinary how it came out, that's what's weird," gushes Gilliam. "People see it and can't believe it wasn't intended to be like this. That's the spooky part. Everything just works, with Johnny, Colin and Judy coming to the rescue. It's hard to explain, but I sometimes think the movie is making itself."

Watch the trailer for 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.'