by Hans ten Cate
Friday, 10 May 1996

Well maybe he didn't take home any Oscars, but as a director, Terry Gilliam has every reason to be proud, though. Four of his film projects have received Oscar recognition in the past 10 years. A total of 13 nominations! That also means that every project Terry has directed since "The Meaning of Life's 'The Crimson Permanent Assurance'" (1983) has received Oscar recognition!


And here's another bizarre coincidence, according to the recent April 10 issue of "TimeOut," London's weekly entertainment guide, Terry Gilliam was originally approached by Mel Gibson to direct "Braveheart." In case you missed the recent Oscars, Mel Gibson recently won the Academy Award for Best Director (and "Braveheart" also won for Best Picture). No telling what kind of film it would have been with Terry Gilliam at the helm, but you gotta wonder if this was just another Oscar ship that passed Terry by...

Both Gilliam and Gibson were collaborating to do a remake of Charles Dickens' classic novel, "A Tale of Two Cities," with Gilliam directing and Gibson starring as Sydney Carton, one of the principle characters. Says Gilliam, "That was really going ahead and then Mel Gibson... decided he wanted to direct again with 'Braveheart.' So we were caught in a situation without a star. This is how sick it is in Hollywood - we ended up with Liam Neeson and this is at the point that he was nominated for 'Schindler's List.' Now with Mel, they would have done the film, they would have spent $60 million. Same film, same story, we somehow got it down to about $31 million with Liam and they wouldn't do it. For 26 they would do it with Liam but not 31. So I walked away."


And according to the May 1996 issue of "Empire," here's another film Terry Gilliam was slated to direct: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," the half-animated/half-live action comedy starring Bob Hoskins. "I passed on that one, but that didn't matter because it was at a stage when it was still just the book and I didn't want to get into animation. I just read the book and said, 'This is too much work.' Pure laziness on my part."

Well, if life is like a bowl of chocolates... "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" was a huge giant Oscar bon-bon... with filling. It got seven nominations at the 1988 Oscars and actually won four: Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Effects Editing; Best Achievement in Visual Effects; and a Special Achievement Award to Richard Williams for animation direction.