‘Time Bandits’ Is Coming to Apple TV+ This Summer

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Apple is resurrecting another sci-fi cult classic into a television adaptation with the 1981 Terry Gilliam film Time Bandits.

This week, the company announced that a new 10-episode original series of the same name will be coming to Apple TV+ on July 24 with Friends alumnus Lisa Kudrow in the lead role.

Like the original film, Time Bandits will be a fantasy adventure series with a fun and comedic twist. However, even with Kudrow as a star, Apple will be hard-pressed to top the original cast, which included such greats as Sean Connery, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Ian Holm, Shelley Duval, and David Warner. That group gave it a distinct Monty Python feel, particularly considering Palin also co-wrote it with Gilliam.

Fortunately, Apple has tapped some decent comedy talent for the television adaptation, with Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords and Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners) as showrunners, plus Taika Waititi (Our Flag Means Death) as co-creator and executive producer. It’s also gone with a cast for a new generation, with Kudrow joined by Kal-El Tuck (Unseeing Evil), Tadhg Murphy (Conversations with Friends), Roger Jean Nsengiyumva (You Don’t Know Me), Rune Temte (Eddie the Eagle), Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up), Rachel House (Heartbreak High), Kiera Thompson (Martyrs Lane), James Dryden (Ready Player One), Felicity Ward (The Office Australia), Francesca Mills (Harlots) and Imaan Hadchiti (Thor: Love and Thunder). Waititi and Clement will also be making special guest appearances.

It sounds like it could be a fun romp for fans of the original, as a similar “ragtag group of thieves” takes their newest receipt, an 11-year-old history buff named Kevin, on “an unpredictable journey through time and space.”

Guided by Lisa Kudrow, the eccentric crew of bandits embark on epic adventures while evil forces threaten their conquests and life as they know it. As the group transports through time and space, the gang stumbles upon fascinating worlds of the distant past while seeking out treasure, depending on Kevin to shed light on each situation. The Time Bandits witness the creation of Stonehenge, see the Trojan Horse in action, escape dinosaurs in the prehistoric ages, wreak havoc during medieval times, experience the ice age, ancient civilizations, the Harlem Renaissance, and much more along the way. Apple

As with most Apple TV+ shows, the first season will span ten episodes, although there’s no word on whether it has any plans for a second season.

Time Bandits joins a slate of other Apple Originals launching over the next few months, starting with Presumed Innocent, an eight-part limited series that debuts on June 12. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Chicago’s chief deputy prosecutor who becomes a suspect in a horrific murder case.

Following that, the ironically named Sunny will premiere on July 10 as a 10-episode “mystery thriller with a darkly comic bent” starring Rashida Jones as a woman who loses her husband and son and gets given a domestic robot for consolation.

Natalie Portman’s Lady in the Lake arrives on July 19 to tell the story of “a Jewish housewife seeking to shed a secret past and reinvent herself as an investigative journalist” who becomes fixated on the mystifying death of “a mother navigating the political underbelly of Black Baltimore while struggling to provide for her family.”

Then, on a slightly lighter note, we’ll get Vince Vaughan’s Bad Monkey on August 14. Produced by Bill Lawrence of Ted Lasso fame, it tells the story of Andrew Yancy, “who has been bounced from the Miami Police Department and is now a health inspector in the Keys.”

Meanwhile, Apple recently renewed its debut series, For All Mankind, for a fifth season and announced its first spinoff series, Star City, which will tell the alternative history narrative — the one where the Soviet Union put the first man on the moon — from the perspective of the cosmonauts, engineers, and intelligence officers behind the Iron Curtain.

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