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The Movie: It should’ve been a no-brainer for Gilliam – a rich epic loaded with comic possibilities and weird creatures.
But somewhere along the line, the huge film the director had in mind crashed into the reality of movie-making budget considerations and the scars are still evident – Munchausen is too messy, too random and while it looks amazing, the story is seriously lacking.
Terry’s Trials: "I remember when we could not figure out exactly what should go - it was the eleventh hour and two days before crisis point,” says the director.
“Film Finances were going to sue me for fraud. I found that amusing considering the subject matter we were dealing with. But when they started getting really heavy, David Tomblin, my assistant and associate producer suddenly called and said ‘Call your lawyer, the game's up!’
“Charles McKeown got so angry about it we shot through the script in less than an hour and came up with revisions the financiers found acceptable. Telexes, cables and memos were flying about in all directions and at one point a Film Finances guy pissed me off so much, I punched out a car windscreen.
“I couldn't believe I'd done it or let the situation get so out of hand. I felt I had reached the end and laughed at the threat of replacement by lower echelon directors because, by this stage, they were welcome to it. No one would have touched it with a barge pole. I became a hostage director."