Toute l'interview sur AICNQuint: That’s what we love about you guys. Now, did you see WATCHMEN? Did you end up seeing it?
Terry Gilliam: Yeah, I thought it strange. I thought it was too reverential. That’s what I really thought it was.
Quint: Faithful to a fault, yeah. I would agree with that.
Terry Gilliam: And you look at it and he’s tried really… so much is stunning. It got trashed, but there are great sequences in there, but the overall effect is kind of turgid in a certain way. I started putting it down to… you know, in the comic book, or graphic novel… They’re still comic books to me (laughs)… It’s like the Comedian’s coffin is going into the grave with the stars and stripes on top of it and reading it in the comic book it’s three panels, boom, boom and boom. On film “hhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmm…”
The pace is wrong. I was glad our version didn’t get done, the one that Charles McKeown and I had wrote, because we had reduced it down to about two hours and five minutes I think and we lost so much. Comedian was cut down to next to nothing. So (Zack Snyder) did a good job, but it just felt… I also thought THE INCREDIBLES had kind of fucked it for him.
Quint: A little bit, yeah.
Terry Gilliam: THE INCREDIBLES is doing WATCHMEN.
Quint: And HEROES took the ending.
Terry Gilliam: The same idea, yeah. And I just thought “Well, they just kind of fucked it up for WATCHMEN.”
Quint: That’s why people are worried about JOHN CARTER OF MARS, because that’s been stolen from so much and so liberally, going into STAR WARS and all of this other stuff.
Terry Gilliam: Yeah, but so much of that material had been in a quarry that everybody had been digging goodies out of and suddenly you get lost. I think WATCHMEN really bothered me, because I thought it should be better. It was all there. It looked right, but to me it was pace. It didn’t have pace. It needed a bit more quirkiness in there. Dr. Manhatten was getting boring, frankly, and then Ozymandias by the end I thought “Oh, come on!” They lost me by the end, frankly, but it was certainly looking better than what I was going to do! (laughs)
Quint: If you had been able to make the movie now with the same freedom, do you think you would have been able to find that happy difference between the version you were going to make and the one that Snyder made?
Terry Gilliam: I think so, because I think I’m more anarchic than Zack. To me it’s “Okay, what’s the essence to this thing? How do we boil it down?” The bits in the book with the big jellyfish thing, the giant squad at the very end… Losing the pirate story, fine. You get that out of there, but I never felt the characters, because to me it was a character piece is what it was about, and I never felt Night Owl and whatever her name is, it didn’t feel right, but I just thought the look of it was brilliant.
Quint: I’m really curious to see the director’s cut, because at least for the purity it’s like the comic filmed. I think Peter Jackson did a really good job on taking what he needed from THE LORD OF THE RINGS and then in the expanded editions, he could give that for the fans, even though the pacing might not work as well.
Terry Gilliam: See that’s the problem with fans. Fans are terrifying. I have always hated fans, because they have such high expectations…
Quint: You are in the wrong place….
Terry Gilliam: I know! They have such high expectations! I thought “Fuck off, just fuck off. Let me fuck it up on my own. I can’t put the weight of you people on my back!” It was like working on DON QUIXOTE, the fan-base isn’t as big as Lord of the Rings (laughs). Never the less, there was this extraordinary book and I just felt the weight of trying to do it, so I just ended up doing THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE and taking the bits that I want and throwing (the rest out).
Quint: Giving you the freedom as a filmmaker.
Terry Gilliam: That’s a hard bit. I’ve always been worried and suspicious of the taking of a book or a play or something and putting it onto film, because you’ve got all of the expectations of all those who have read it and have their own version of it in their head and all you are going to do, providing, is fucking it up to them. Your version is not going to their version. There will be a lot of angry people out there.
Quint: With Peter and RINGS, its something that’s that big, but it’s also that big for a certain amount of people, what he was able to do was he was able to pay respect, but also bring so many more fans into it that it all sort of began to feed on itself.
Terry Gillaim: Tolkien’s got a bigger fan-base than Alan Moore…
Quint: Definitely, yeah.
Terry Gilliam: When I was in college, they were all reading it. I didn’t read it until I was about thirty something and then I got bored, because I just think it goes on and on and on, just like the movies go on and on. I love the first one. I thought “Fuck, they’ve done it!” And then in the second it’s like “Oh, it’s another battle and our heroes never die? They don’t even get an arm chopped off? There are ten billion orcs attacking them and nobody gets hurt?” That makes me crazy!
I must have read all of the LORD OF THE RINGS or maybe I didn’t… no I’m sure I did, because once I get into something, I read all the way through things, but I didn’t remember… there was something about 2 and 3 of the films, the battles just got bigger and bigger. It was just like STAR WARS, the second and third STAR WARS and I’m talking about the first ones, not the animated ones, but again they just became more baroque. They became more “Okay, we can put more spaceships in,” but it’s still things shooting other things and in the end, it’s more interesting to me to have one guy shooting another guy, because that’s about two people. Then you’ve got ten billion spaceships as opposed to a hundred. I don’t see the difference there.