The Movie that Never Was
Okay, so there's going to be a Good Omens movie. Or, there WAS going to be a movie. It looks like production might be a little, uh, dead right now? Or maybe not, it might still have a chance! Or not. Probably not, given that now we've got a television miniseries instead.
Originally, the Good Omens movie was supposed to be directed by Terry Gilliam, supposed to have filmed in spring 2002, and supposed to have opened sometime in 2003. And then news about the movie just sort of petered out of existence. Although in 2008-ish there was some talk of bringing the project back to life, ultimately, the movie never happened. Or it evolved into the television miniseries, if you would rather think of it that way.
And yes, Neil Gaimain wrote a complete script for the movie. Reportedly Gaimain hated the script even though he was the one who wrote it. Something about having to kowtow too much to stupid studio expectations for the film, or so I've heard. Anyway, you - yes, you - can indeed read the script for yourself, as an illegal copy of the thing was released into the wilds of the internet several years ago. If you don't know where to find the movie script online, ask around in some Good Omens fan communities, and some kind soul will likely provide you with a helpful link.
Here is a compendium of old movie-related links:
More recent-ish (though still outdated) news is up on top, older and even more outdated links are at the bottom.
Good Omens for Gilliam (1/04/2008)
Gilliam hopes to bank on Gaiman's popularity in the wake of Stardust, Beowulf, and Coraline in order to resurrect the Good Omens film. Also, apparently there is a new script that Gaiman is actually happy with, even if the new script apparently still features drastic differences compared to the book. (Even moreso than the first script?!)
Gaiman wants Gilliam for Sandman, but Gilliam busy with Good Omens (10/5/2007)
Neil Gaiman states that he wants Terry Gilliam to direct any hypothetical movie adaptation of The Sandman. But, for the time being, "Terry's busy trying to get 'Good Omens' made."
You Can Make Good Omens! (10/4/2007)
Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Terry Gilliam still want to make a Good Omens movie, but they need money. Lots of money. "[Terry] needs someone to give him $70m. If you or any of your readers have a spare 70 million dollars you are not doing it with then send it to T Gilliam, care of the London Pipe Organisation."
Gilliam Hopes for Good Omens (10/9/2006)
Terry Gilliam interviews that he still wants to make the Good Omens movie, even if no current A-list Hollywood actors are "right" for any of the parts.
Film rights for a groat (10/6/2006)
No, seriously. Pratchett and Gaiman sold the movie rights to Terry Gilliam for a groat. A real groat, that is.
Terry Gilliam wants to film Omens movie in 2006 (7/11/2006)
And apparently Johnny Depp is no longer in the running for Crowley, nor Robin Williams for Aziraphale. If you don't care to listen to the entire audio interview, there's an accompanying livejournal discussion here.
Gaiman wants the movie to happen, but Pratchett doubts it (3/1/2006)
In the Harper Collins hardcover reprint of Good Omens published on March 1st, 2006, this little tidbit about the movie is written in an appendix called "Good Omens: The Facts":
"Will there be a movie, then?
Neil likes to think that one day maybe there will, and Terry is certain that it will never happen. In either case, neither of them will believe it until they're actually eating popcorn at the premiere. And even then, probably not."
Gaiman still wants Depp and Williams (10/04/05)
Robin Williams was originally signed on to play Aziraphale, Hastur, and Madame Tracy. Who knew?
Good Omens Movie Back on Track (9/28/05)
Neil Gaiman confirms that Terry Gilliam is still interested in making a Good Omens movie, and talks about the horrific reaction he got when he first pitched the movie to a New York executive.
Entertainment Weekly Article (8/26/05)
Terry Gilliam discusses more of why the movie fell through. And yes, this confirms that Johnny Deep and Robin Williams were once cast as Crowley and Aziraphale, respectively.
Gilliam Still Interested in Omens (8/17/05)
Neil Gaiman posts in his blog that he and Terry Gilliam would not be uninterested in having another go at a Good Omens movie.
CountingDown.com: Good Omens
Continuing coverage of rumors, production status, etc. Last updated in June 2005, with an article describing Gilliam's struggle to balance the dark and the lighthearted aspects of the film.
Sci-Fi Wire Article (4/17/03)
"Gilliam Moves to Grimm." Looks like the Good Omens movie is finally dead - this must have been the last nail in the coffin. This article marks the point, several years ago, when the Good Omens movie looked really really dead - although, at the current moment, that appears not to be the case.
Interview with Terry Gilliam (2/05/03)
Terry Gilliam chats with the Onion A.V. Club. He describes the Good Omens movie as "vegetating," and talks about the likelihood of ever getting the funds it needs... Not good news, I'm afraid.
Gilliam Has Good Omens (1/17/03)
Terry Gilliam tells SCI FI Wire that the movie project isn't entirely dead. In his January 18th post to his online journal, Neil Gaiman comments: "Personally I don't really think the Good Omens movie is dead. I think of it as lying in a glass coffin with white lilies on its chest and with mournful dwarfs all around it, all of them waiting for a prince to ride up on a big white horse, carrying with him about sixty million dollars."
Movie on Hold (8/7/02)
Posted at the IMDB by either George Lazenby or an anonymous fanboy pretending to be George Lazenby, due to the fact that the IMDB boards are an anarchy like that. Which immediately calls into question the accuracy of the statement, but whatever. $15 million budget shortfall, time to cry.
@ Ain't It Cool News (2/26/02)
An article that bemoans the demise of the Good Omens movie.
Dreams: The Terry Gilliam Fanzine
Contains detailed, comprehensive coverage of the Good Omens movie. Last updated in March 2002.
Yahoo! Movies: Greg's Previews
A nice listing of all the casting rumors. But seriously, Christopher Lambert and Joseph Fiennes?! Anyway, this page hasn't been updated since 2002, again.
FilmForce Exclusive (8/28/00)
"Terry Gilliam Signs on for Good Omens." Old news, but still an interesting read.
Discworld Monthly #33 (1/1/00)
Under the "News" section is an article about the Good Omens movie, with comments by Neil Gaiman.
Sci-Fi Wire Article (12/6/99)
"Gilliam Will Direct Good Omens" annoucement posted by Sci Fi Wire. Old news, but still an interesting read.
Internet Movie Database Entry
Up until 2005, there WAS a page of the Internet Movie Database devoted to the Good Omens movie. Now it's just a broken link.
Old discussions about casting choices:
Discworld Casting Couch (contains a Good Omens page)
Needcoffee DreamCasts Lab: Good Omens (an all-British cast)
Good Omens Casting
More Casting Gripes
A lively casting discussion
And even more casting suggestions
And more, and more, and more!
A casting discussion with an interesting twist
"Epic comprehensive" casting post with tons of photographs
Fandom_Secrets posts with Good Omens movie casting secrets: One | Two | Three | Four
...And after this point I stopped keeping track. There is still perpetual casting discussion happening throughout the online fandom, though!
<--- Forbidden Fruit // Slither Home --->
Important Note: Page numbers in reference to quotations from the book refer to the 1996 Ace mass-market paperback edition. Disclaimer: Crowley, Aziraphale, and Good Omens are owned
and copyrighted by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Excerpts and
quotes from the novel Good Omens used throughout this site
are reproduced without legal permission, for which I can only hang
my head sheepishly and apologize. However, this is a FANSITE, meant
in the name of fun, and not intended to make a profit. The lovely model in this site's header graphic is an endangered Eastern Indigo Snake, in a photograph courtesy of SeaWorld.org. Brushes used in the header graphic are courtesy of Paper Flowers.