Time Bandits: Cast, release date and everything we know so far about Apple

We’re approaching the halfway point of 2024, and Apple is still doing its best to imitate Pinky and the Brain with world domination in mind, at least in the streaming arena.

Credit where credit is due. Apple is nothing if not a brand when it comes to quality, not quantity.

There’s no doubt that some of the shows that have appeared on Apple TV+ over the years have been flops, but they really are flops.

Time bandits

What is time bandits?

Apple has announced its next assault on our streaming lives by turning back clocks in an oldie but goodie known as Time Bandits.

John Cleese as Robin Hood - Time Bandit

For the uninitiated, Time Bandits is a 1981 film directed by Terry Gilliam. It’s a black comedy filled with Gilliam’s quirky filmmaking aesthetic.

Taika Waititi, Iain Morris, and Jemaine Clement lead the way as co-creators and showrunners.

With Lisa Kudrow (Friends and The Comeback) in the lead role, get ready for some serious nonsense.

After all, Lisa is known for her antics on Friends, while Taika, Iain and Jemaine led What We Do In The Shadows, a funny take on the vampire genre.

Originally, the Companions were dwarves who served the “Creator” (God).

Together they steal a map that allows them to travel through time. They use it to enrich themselves while dragging the boy (Kevin) with them.

Time Bandits 1981

Like many of Gilliam’s masterpieces, Time Bandits combines surreal fantasy, chaotic spectacle, dark humor, morally questionable characters, perception, and metaphors about the absurdities of bloated bureaucracies and crony capitalism.

Now, this is entertainment with a message.

If you were a kid the last time you watched Time Bandits, give it another chance to learn about some of the more subtle complexities present in the story.

Who is Terry Gilliam?

Terry Gilliam is one of a kind – a rare human being with a quirky sense of humor, a strange and ethereal imagination, and a preference for the strange and unusual plots.

He began his work in the 1960s as an animator for a children’s show.

Monty Python is where he really made his name, working on cartoons and eventually live-action sketches and comedies.

Robin Hood and the Time Bandits

His co-directing experience with Monty Python and the Holy Grail opened the door to full control of the director’s chair on Time Bandits in 1980.

Where can you watch Time Bandits?

The Time Bandits TV series will premiere on Apple TV+.

Will Apple TV+ follow the original Time Bandits story?

Time Bandits is a classic in every sense of the word, especially if you grew up in the 1980s and enjoyed the quirky, surreal and slightly bizarre British comedies of the time, such as the aforementioned Monty Python films.

Judging by the press release and the only photo of Lisa Kudrow and her castmates, the series’ story will likely follow its predecessor, at least to some extent.

Most people only remember Time Bandits, while Terry Gilliam’s other 1980s works, Brazil and Baron Munchausen, fly under the radar.

According to Gilliam, the latter two were combined with the Time Bandits to form a “fantasy” trilogy.

Time bandits map

While this is an interesting take on three seemingly unrelated films, it potentially lays some groundwork.

If the first season is a success, it’s not hard to imagine a follow-up to Brazil and Baron Munchausen.

However, of the two, Munchausen is probably more thematically and aesthetically connected to Time Bandits.

There’s no such thing as perfect uniformity when it comes to reproduction, but Apple should have learned a lesson or two from previous failures that strayed too far from the source.

How many rings will the bandits get?

According to Apple’s press release, the Time Bandits story will take place over ten episodes. Since this claim comes directly from the source, there is no reason to doubt its veracity.

Ian Holm Napoleon Bonaparte - Time Bandits

Subsequent seasons may be shorter, especially if the budget is as high as expected.

Apple is no stranger to spending a lot of hard cash on streaming projects. The amount available depends on the success of the first season.

Apple’s official synopsis sounds like more than enough content to justify ten episodes.

The bandits witness the construction of Stonehenge, see the Trojan Horse in action, escape prehistoric dinosaurs, and experience the Ice Age, ancient civilizations, the Harlem Renaissance, and much more along the way.

When does Time Bandits premiere?

We don’t have to wait, the series will start on July 24.

Who stars in Time Bandits?

Lisa Kudrow will play Penelope, the leader of a group of bandits.

Lisa Kudrow attends the premiere of the Disney movie "Nate is better than ever"

Kudrow hardly needs an introduction.

Although she had small roles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, she cemented her name in the television lexicon with Friends.

Friends was a gravy train on cookie wheels until 2004, when the show finally ended. She later starred in the film titled The Comeback.

She now owns her own production company and is the executive producer of the television series Who Do You Think You Are?

Depending on how well Apple plays, Time Bandits could be the biggest thing in its career since the end of Friends.

Roger Jean Nsengiyumva in 2019

Roger Jean Nsengiyumva You will play the piece.

Nsengiyumva is the most interesting of the bunch, given his history.

On April 6, 1994, Nsengiyumva was an infant living in Rwanda when surface-to-air missiles were fired at the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi.

They were both killed, leading to a wave of chaos and death across the country.

A combination of presidential guards, paramilitary police, Interahamwe, and Hutu militia unleashed a massive genocide on the population, sweeping across the country and forcing many residents, including Nsengiyumva, who was tied to his mother’s back, to flee.

The complex political nature of the bloody conflict and resulting genocide is best left to historians, but Nsengiyumva rode out the storm, leaving behind his dead father as a victim of violence.

Fortunately, the ghosts of his homeland didn’t stop him from starring in Africa United, Informer, Tomb Raider, and You Don’t Know Me, before landing the role of Widget in the upcoming Time Bandits movie.

Rune Timte in 2023

Rune temty He is best known for his role as Ubba in The Last Kingdom. In Time Bandits, he will play Bittelig.

If you’ve watched The Last Kingdom, you probably remember Ubba, one of the less pleasant characters who crossed paths with Uhtred Ragnarson. If nothing else, Rune Temte can play the role of a villain.

Born in Norway, Temte also played in Eddie the Eagle, Captain Marvel, and A Boy Called Christmas.

He had played many lesser-known roles over the years leading up to his casting with Time Bandits.

He also had an interesting career as a Norwegian professional soccer player (soccer for American fans).

Rachel House in 2017

Rachel House She has a long history of collaboration with Taika Waititi.

House is a New Zealand director and actress who worked alongside Taika Waititi on his first, second and third feature films.

Her resume as a director revolves mainly around theatrical productions, although she has one feature film to her credit.

Almost everything she touches turns to gold, and she has received a Chapman Tripp Theater Award, Outstanding Performance Award, New Zealand Arts Foundation Award, WIFT Award, Best Supporting Actress, and many more.

She has starred in dozens of film and television projects over the years and brings a wealth of knowledge, including experience as an acting coach, to some of the younger cast members of Time Bandits.

While Kudrow is the biggest name in the project, Time Bandits will feature several up-and-coming young actors and actresses.

Zoe Ventoura and George Houvardas come from Prime’s Packed to the Rafters series.

Charlene Yee in 2019

Charlene Yee She will play Judy in Apple’s Time Bandits movie. Kal-El Tuck will play Kevin, the primary protagonist of the 1981 original film.

Kal-El, other than carrying the title of Superman with him, is relatively unknown, having previous experience in Andy and the Band and Unseeing Evil.

Charlyne Ying is another young actress starring in Time Bandits, although she has a more extensive portfolio than Kal-El, Zoe, and George.

Yi’s previous film credits include 40, Knocked Up, Cabinet of Curiosities, Lucifer, and Summer Camp Island, to name a few.

Controversy surrounding the Bandit TV series

The original Time Bandits featured Little People as a band of time-traveling thieves.

The new series does not feature a single short person in the cast.

Recently, Abby Purvis, the daughter of Jack Purvis (Wally in the original), criticized the showrunners’ casting decisions.

It’s not the best scenario to run an up-and-coming comedy on a major streaming platform in an industry that has suffered from similar decisions in the past.

Evil - Time Bandits

It’s possible that Time Bandits uses forced perspective techniques to make actors and actresses appear smaller, but judging from the “first look” image linked to Apple’s press release, that doesn’t seem likely.

Furthermore, forced perspective changes nothing in terms of representation.

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Snow White has recently been embroiled in a lot of controversy over the same issue.

The lack of little people in Prime Video’s Rings of Power, 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, hasn’t gone unnoticed either.

It remains to be seen whether this will become a much bigger problem for Apple and opponents in the future.

Sean Connery as King Agamemnon - Time Bandit

This concludes what we know about Time Bandits so far.

With a release date set for July 24, we’ll likely know more soon!

Well, don’t be shy!

What do you think of the upcoming Time Bandits on Apple TV+?

Are you tired of seeing classics revived or disappointed in Apple’s decision to kill the little guys?

Your comments are always welcome, and someone, somewhere, sometime will read them. We promise! maybe.

As the saying goes, “Click it or the crickets!”

Thomas Godwin He is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X

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