Is Pixar hiring? If so, visionary filmmaker Terry Gilliam (“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”) would like to apply. And if he needs a letter of recommendation, I’d be happy to provide one. According to /Film, Gilliam confessed at a recent BFI event that he would sweep the floors at the animation studio just to be around such creative people.
Fans of Gilliam’s work, myself included, would much rather see him directing films for the Disney-owned animation studio than providing them with janitorial services. Gilliam began as an animator and first became famous through the cartoons he made for “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” Given his difficulties since then with live-action filmmaking -- looking at you, "Brothers Grimm." And "Tideland." And "Man of La Mancha." -- it might actually be a good idea for him to return to his original medium.
Would he be good fit at Pixar, though? It would seem more appropriate for the expatriate to link up with the British studio Aardman Animation, makers of the Wallace and Gromit films, yet a Gilliam-directed Pixar film would be amazing. And also out of this world. I wonder if any of the director’s unresolved projects would work as a Pixar film. “Good Omens”? “Theseus and the Minotaur”?
A long time has passed since Gilliam made his most kid-friendly film, “Time Bandits,” and he may well have gotten too dark and cynical over the years to be considered suitable for Disney’s audience. However, if he’s serious about doing anything to work for Pixar, I’m sure he would make some compromises.
Apparently Gilliam has already told “Wall-E” director Andrew Stanton to “hold the door open” for him over there. Maybe his next step should be to stand outside the Pixar compound in Emeryville, California, with another sign saying “Will Direct for Food,” like he displayed during a 2006 stunt in New York City. Or, those of us who’d really like to see Gilliam’s dreams come true could start a letter writing campaign to Pixar head John Lasseter. How about it?
After the BFI event, /Film interviewed Gilliam and though there was no further discussion of Pixar, there was another interesting revelation. Gilliam spoke exclusively about his interest, plans and fears of adapting Philip K. Dick. He admitted that he’s been ripping the author off for years so it would be weird to finally give him credit for something.
Gilliam was at one time attached to make Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly,” but that novel ended up instead being adapted as an animated film by Richard Linklater. His new idea is to film the less-known book “The World Jones Made,” and he’s met with Dick’s daughter, who brought up the idea of him instead doing the currently in-the-works “Ubik,” or perhaps “The Man in the White Castle.”
“The World Jones Made,” a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel that is perfect for Gilliam, would actually be a really good idea for a Pixar-type animated movie, too. It's unfortunate then that Disney likely wouldn't allow the studio to make something so adult in themes and content.
Can you imagine a Pixar movie from the man who made “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”? Would you prefer that he stick to live-action, especially if it means he could finally adapt a Philip K. Dick novel?