Nolte: ‘Time Bandits’ Remake Has No Dwarfs, Adds Girl Leader

Time Bandits
HandMade Films

The endlessly insufferable Taika Waititi is remaking Terry Gilliam’s classic 1981 comedy Time Bandits for Apple TV+ … without the dwarfs.

Waititi has also done — yawn — a gender swap. A girl (Lisa Kudrow) will now lead the time bandits — the role the great David Rappaport filled so memorably in the original.

Worst of all, Waititi thinks he can stretch a two-hour movie into a ten-part series.

Bounding Into Comics reported:

In a decision ostensibly made in order to be more ‘inclusive’ and less offensive, Taika Waititi’s upcoming television remake of Time Bandits will no longer see dwarfs accompanying protagonist Kevin on his adventures, but rather regularly-sized individuals.

Therein, Kevin (Kal-El Tuck) can be seen standing in a field standing side-by-side with the titular Time Bandits (Tasha Murphy, Roger Jean Nsengiyumva, Kiera Thompson, and Rune Temte) and their leader Penelope (Lisa Kudrow), a new character developed exclusively for the series.

Anyone else getting those Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs vibes?

Can someone please explain to me how NOT hiring actors from a tiny minority group (pun definitely intended) qualifies as woke?

Can someone explain to me how replacing those who make up less than one percent of the population (dwarfs) with those who make up 99 percent of the population (normal-sized people) qualifies as progress, as enlightenment, and as sensitive?

Isn’t replacing a minority group with a majority group discrimination?

I blame that crafty devil Peter Dinklage. After the Disney Grooming Syndicate announced its live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dinklage (who is a dwarf or midget or little person or whatever the accepted term is these days) went all Rumpelstiltskin…

“It makes no sense to me. Because you’re progressive in one way, but you’re still making that fucking backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the fuck are you doing, man?” Dinklage raged.  “Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soap box? I guess I’m not loud enough.”

Of course, he would say that. This ensures he has no competition in the dwarf department. Dinklage (who’s a superb actor) has cornered this market for two decades, and by crying “backwards” every time another dwarf might be hired, no other dwarf will ever get the opportunity to break out and compete with Dinklage for those roles.

I just don’t get why anyone would watch Waititi’s dumb remake when you can watch the 1981 original, which is an absolute comedy classic filled with real movie stars: Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, and David Warner. The Cleese scene alone is absolute gold.

And there’s nothing negative in Gilliam’s decision to cast six dwarfs as his knockabout gang of time bandits. Sure, their (lack of) height is used for laughs, but it’s all good-natured. There is no caricature. Each of the six bandits has a distinct personality, especially Rappaport’s Randall, who is a complicated man in full (as the doomed man was in real life).

When Time Bandits ends, we don’t see the six dwarfs as punchlines, because Gilliam portrays them as real people who just happen to be dwarfs. By the time the credits role we admire their bravery, tenacity, and willingness to grow into better men than the mercenaries we’re first introduced to.

You know, we all have choices in the 21st century. You can piss away ten hours watching an inferior, woke version of Time Bandits, or you can spend those same ten hours watching or even rewatching Gilliam’s best movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), The Fisher King (1991) and 12 Monkeys (1995).

Even if you have already seen them, even if you have already seen them countless times (as I have), I promise that when that marathon is over you will have made much better use of your time. Gilliam (who reportedly stalked off the set of this remake in disgust) doesn’t only entertain… Through his humor, unique characters, and wonderfully skewed view of the world, he explores what it means to be human, the absurdities of life, and how we relate to one another.

Gilliam is a genius.

Waititi is an empty suit, a self-absorbed hack making movies only to impress left-wing Hollywood.

There is no reason you have to put up with this shit. There is so much that came before that you haven’t seen. that will be new to you… And I promise you, looking back is well worth your time.

John Nolte’s first and last novel, Borrowed Time, is winning five-star raves from everyday readers. You can read an excerpt here and an in-depth review here. Also available in hardcover and on Kindle and Audiobook


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