‘The Carnival at the End of Days’: A Look at Terry Gilliam’s Upcoming Film (Where He Wants Johnny Depp to Play Satan)

Johnny Depp - The Carnival at the End of Days

Director Terry Gilliam is set to begin work on his latest project, The Carnival at the End of Days. With the apocalyptic comedy still in its development stages, Gilliam has already revealed parts of what fans can expect from the film as well as who he wants to play a major character.

Here’s what we know so far about The Carnival at the End of Days.

The Latest Updates on The Carnival at the End of Days Movie

Terry Gilliam is co-writing The Carnival at the End of Days with performer, writer, and musician Christopher Brett Bailey. In fact, during the Red Sea Film Festival, Gilliam shared with Variety that Bailey’s age is a huge asset to him, saying, “because as you get older, the world becomes more foreign to you.”

Gilliam was attending the festival, which was screening two of his documentaries, Lost in La Mancha and He Dreams of Giants. Both focused on Gilliam’s attempt to make the movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which starred Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

Speaking to The Playlist, Gilliam also shared that several projects are currently in development, including this film. He also shared that Defective Detective is a film he’s been looking to make.

“I don’t know what to do. Defective Detective is the film I really would like to make. But the script lies in the bowels of Paramount Pictures, and I don’t know how to get it out,” said Gilliam. “We’ve been trying to, but we’ve not succeeded. It’s that weird situation where a script’s there and they’re not going to make it. But they don’t want to let it go just in case somebody makes it and is successful. I don’t know how that’ll go. I’ve written a new thing with a new co-writer called The Carnival at the End of Days. It’s about the end of the world, folks!”

Johnny Depp and The Carnival at the End of Days Cast

Gilliam revealed to Variety that he wants to cast Johnny Depp as Satan for The Carnival at the End of Days. After summing up the plot of the upcoming project, Gilliam revealed that he wants Depp to play the character. If it happens, it wouldn’t be the first time Depp and Gilliam have worked together, as they previously collaborated in 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Additionally, Depp also worked with Gilliam during his first attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

Depp took a break from the big screen over the past few years due to the legal issues he’s faced with ex-wife Amber Heard. Following a very public legal battle and the publicized Depp v. Heard trial, Depp ultimately won his countersuit against his ex-wife. Depp received $10 million in damages and $5 million in punitive damages, while Heard received $2 million in compensatory damages.

Depp has since returned to acting, portraying the King of France Louis XV in 2023’s Jeanne du Barry. He is also set to direct the biographical drama Modi. The upcoming movie is about the life of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani which is also based on Dennis McIntyre’s play Modigliani.

“I think the majority of audiences are really bored,” Depp, who was also in attendance at the Red Sea Film Festival, told The National, referring to Hollywood. “These three-act structural kind of things, people are sick of it. I think it shows pretty well in what’s happening in Hollywood today.”

No word yet on who’s set to play the other characters, but Gilliam has shared that he’s confident Depp will play Satan. We’ll have to wait and see who else Gilliam brings on board for the film.

What’s the Story Behind The Carnival at the End of Days?

In the same Variety interview mentioned earlier, Gilliam summarized what The Carnival at the End of Days would be about.

“This is a simple tale of God wiping out humanity for f***ing up his beautiful garden Earth. There’s only one character who’s trying to save humanity, and that’s Satan. Because without humanity, he’s lost his job, and he’s an eternal character so to live without a job is terrible. So he finds some young people, and he tries to convince God that these young people are the new Adam and Eve. God still gets to wipe out humanity. It’s a comedy,” said Gilliam.

Separately. Gilliam explained that “God bottled out on the first 1000 years because he was going to destroy the place. It was a disaster and now come 2000, he’s finally going to do it.”

“It’s a satire about the world we’re living in, and it does make fun of a lot of the narrow mentality that’s out there,” Gilliam told Euronews Culture back in October.

What to Expect from the Film

Despite the film taking place in the apocalypse, this is not connected to another rumored project that Gilliam has had in development, which is will focus on the Four Horsemen. However, do expect the Four Horsemen to be part of this film.

“The Four Horsemen are in The Carnival at the End of Days! But no, it’s a simple little tale about the world we live in and God deciding to wipe out humanity because we destroyed his beautiful garden,” Gilliam told The Playlist. “It’s a comedy! And one person is trying to stop this from happening, and it turns out to be Satan. Because without human beings, he’s out of a job. And he’s eternal, and to be stuck in eternity knowing you’re out of a job is pretty bad.”

Gilliam also shared how today’s world no longer recognizes irony, stating, “We’re living in a time where irony is not recognized anymore, and words are taken out of context. So the word is the crime, not the thought. The thought is more nuanced. But you’ve got to have an intelligent way of listening and people are not listening now – they’re just frightened. And I don’t like that when people get frightened,” said Gilliam.

The Carnival at the End of Days Release Date Speculation

Because The Carnival at the End of Days is still in its developing phase, it’s still too soon to get a release date or when filming will begin. However, it seems Gilliam is looking to work on this project next.

It also remains to be seen whether it will get a theatrical release or will go to a streaming service. Even if the film goes to a streaming service, there’s no word on which platform it will be.

For now, we can only look out for any updates on its production. We’ll keep you posted as more details on the project surface.


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