June 21, 2024

Former Monty Python member, animator and visionary director Terry Gilliam told Variety at the Red Sea Film Festival on Sunday that he wants Johnny Depp to play Satan in his new film “Carnival at the End of Days.”

Gilliam summarized the plot as: “God wipes out humanity and the only character who wants to save them is Satan, and Johnny Depp plays Satan.”

Gilliam was attending the screening at Red Sea of a double bill of the documentaries “Lost in La Mancha” and “He Dreams of Giants,” both of which document Gilliam’s cursed and grueling attempt to make the film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” The film ultimately premiered in Cannes in 2018, starring Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver.

The producer of the documentaries, Lucy Darwin, was also on stage with Gilliam to explain to the audience how she went from being a publicist on “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” to a producer via Gilliam’s encouragement. She also told fans that “Lost in La Mancha” was being premiered in a newly restored version at the festival.

Talking to Variety after the screening, Gilliam at first joked: “Ah, you’re the magazine that killed me!,” referring to an incident when the magazine prematurely published his obituary in 2015. After suggesting the magazine buy him a couple of bottles of wine to make up for the distress caused to some family members, the publishers sent him a couple of crates and peace reigned.

As for the new film, it is being co-written with an unnamed 33-year-old scriptwriter, “because as you get older the world becomes more foreign to you.” The story is as wild as you’d expect from the creator of “12 Monkeys” and “Brazil.”

“This is a simple tale of God wiping out humanity for fucking up his beautiful garden Earth,” Gilliam said. “There’s only one character who’s trying to save humanity and that’s Satan, because without humanity he’s lost his job and he’s an eternal character and so to live without a job is terrible. So he finds some young people and he tries to convince God that these young people are the new Adam and Eve. God still gets to wipe out humanity. It’s a comedy.”

Which is where Depp comes in. Though the film is still at an early stage, Gilliam feels confident. He also noted that his name in “Lost in La Mancha” appears above that of Depp. “I have to keep him in his place,” he joked.

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