Apple TV’s new Time Bandits show just got a glorious trailer and a July release date

Jemaine Clement and Taiki Waititi are adapting the classic 1981 film.


Apple’s Time Bandits remake has been floating around since 2018, which is actually more than a year before Apple TV+ started pumping out content, but we haven't had much by way of actual details. That changed today with a trailer, release date and a whole lot more. The upcoming adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s classic 1981 film will be a ten-episode series that premieres on July 24.

The creative team is top-notch and just about perfect for a reimagining of Gilliam’s dark and hilarious time-twisting fairy tale. It’s being helmed by the dynamic duo behind the film What We Do in the Shadows, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. The latter also made a couple of Marvel movies, to varying degrees of success.

The cast looks to be sufficiently stacked and led by the, and I can’t believe I’m saying this about someone so famous and rich, under-appreciated Lisa Kudrow. The rest of the titular bandits are portrayed by Charlyne Yi, Rune Temte, Tadhg Murphy and Roger Jean Nsengiyumva. Jemaine Clement replaces David Warner as the primary antagonist, which are some mighty big shoes to fill, and Waititi replaces Ralph Richardson as the Supreme Being. Interestingly, there are no original cast members here. This is an absolute reimagining and not a “pass the torch” type deal.

To that point, the plot looks to follow the original. It’s about a lonely British child who discovers a time portal in his bedroom and gets involved in all manner of hijinks involving a lost time map. The film used to both amuse and terrify me to no end when it would turn up on TV when I was a kid. Here’s hoping the remake keeps that formula intact.

The trailer certainly indicates it’ll be doing just that and also shows several iconic sequences from the movie, including romps through Ancient Greece and the creation of Stonehenge. Being as how the movie had plenty of guest stars as the gang traveled through time, the show could do the same. Sean Connery played Agamemnon in the film and John Cleese played Robin Hood. Neither character pops up in the trailer, so there could be some casting surprises in store. Waititi loves that kind of thing.

The press release also mentions the Harlem Renaissance, which was not in the movie, so we’ll likely see a bunch of new time periods. Ten episodes of TV is a lot longer than a two-hour movie.

Time Bandits premieres with two episodes on July 24. It continues until August 21, dropping two episodes each Wednesday. It joins like a hundred other fantasy and sci-fi shows on Apple TV+.