Terry Gilliam‘s distaste for mainstream Hollywood moviemaking, particularly when it comes to blockbusters, is well documented. However, the director’s opinion on the subject isn’t necessarily reflexive. Sitting down recently for a one hour conversation with Sam Rubin as part of LiveTalksLA, the director shared his mixed opinion on this summer’s “Ant-Man,” a picture he enjoyed, with some reservation.
“Strangely enough, I watched ‘Ant-Man’ on the plane coming over here. Now, ‘Ant-Man’ I quite liked, I think there’s a lot of really good stuff in there. And technically, it’s brilliant. But it’s also predictable, ultimately. We know where it’s gonna go, so the structure and the shape is all there. And okay, they play with it in various ways. But, that’s my problem, I don’t get the surprise I used to get, I want to go and be more surprised,” he explained.
Essentially, it’s the formula that Gilliam finds uninteresting, and the necessary requirements that “Ant-Man” and other movies of that ilk must adhere to in being part of a bigger cinematic universe. “I also worry when things become so repetitive, and now we’ve got to get all the Marvel universe dancing with each other, so Superman has now got to make love to Batman or something,” he continued. “And these are the things that create that complete and hermetically sealed world, [and that] really bothers me, because the Bible is more interesting, and the stories are more surprising, and actually more human.”
Earlier this year, Steven Spielberg made the comparison that westerns were essentially the comic book movies of yesterday, but Gilliam finds more value in the oaters than in the movies involving spandex. “I was thinking about this the other day, I moan about this, but when I was younger it was westerns [that were popular]. But I even thought within a western, there’s a formula there, but there was still more places to play, there was more humanity — real humanity — as opposed to an artificial, inflated, superhero [movie],” he said.
However, Gilliam reiterated that overall, “Ant-Man” was a good time. “‘Ant-Man’ had some really funny moments, and there were some really nice things… It also had Paul Rudd, who is still terrific,” he said.
Check out the full talk below, where Gilliam hilariously talks about the “interesting mistake” of working with the Weinsteins on “The Brothers Grimm,” and provides yet another update on “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” suggesting that getting John Hurt cleared by the insurers of the movie remains the biggest hurdle that lays ahead.