Thursday, August 16, 2001


Who was it who said that a lie can be half way around the world while the truth is still blinking up at the bedroom ceiling blearily wondering whether to clean its teeth before or after having an early morning cup of tea and then starting to think very seriously about rolling over in bed and trying to get just another ten minutes of sleep before starting the day?

Anyway, whoever said it, I hear from the Well that the Terry Gilliam quote I posted the other day has now started showing up on the Inside Movie News kind of sites as the inside skinny on Good Omens -- the film.


It was a joke. Terry Gilliam was joking. It was funny. I posted it because it made me laugh out loud, and I thought it might make some of you laugh too. I figured the stuff about the cattle drives might have been a dead giveaway if the bit about the Bollywood song and dance numbers wasn’t, and that, if anyone was still in any doubt, the final line about taking out all the jokes would have set their mind at rest. We won’t even go into the bit about Mel Brooks or Woody Allen playing the Metatron.

So. I’ve now read a draft of the script for Good Omens, by Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni, and yes, it's very funny. It’s a Terry Gilliam film, and it’s closer to the book that Terry Pratchett and I wrote than I would have thought possible given the different shapes and dynamics of books and films. Yes, some beloved bits are gone. An astonishing number of beloved bits and characters are still there.

The baby is there, and so is 90% of the bathwater. So please stop worrying.

Now we just have to hope that Mel and Woody will read this and stop calling Terry Gilliam. (Note for Internet movie rumour places: The last line was simply not true. Mel Brooks and Woody Allen have not been calling Terry Gilliam as far as I know, except possibly to complain about the noise.)