Terry Gilliam is revered in many circles of the filmmaking community thanks to his work with Monty Python and films like The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. To many, however, he’s more famous for being a strange guy and holding some eccentric views. Like this one. Apparently, the influential filmmaker thinks superheroes are starting to replace religion and if we would all look around, we would see the signs of it everywhere.
The filmmaker sat down with CINEMABLEND recently to promote his new film Zero Theorem, which does not star Robin Williams, when he pointed out something unusual he’s been seeing. People are dressing up as fantasy figures. These passions are taking over their lives and allegedly replacing many of the things older generations once considered sacred.
Here’s a portion of his thought-provoking quote, which came as part of a larger interview…
"As I was walking in New York yesterday on the way to another interview. There on the streets were all these comic book covers and images for sale. It's taken over. I mean the Church is a dying thing. But comics and Marvel are everything now, aren't they? Don't they have all the answers to our lives? Aren' they the figures that we want to copy and be like and aspire to? Don't they relieve us when we're in trouble?"
Whether the exodus from the Church and toward superheroes is widespread or not, Terry Gilliam doesn’t see it as a very good thing. In fact, he doesn’t see why anyone would indulge in the fantasy for more than a few seconds. He seems to think ultimately, it’s just empty.
"I like Batman. But you don't want to believe in him!"
The director’s controversial comments come in the wake of a particularly fluid time for the Christian Church. Recent studies have claimed Millennials, particularly white Millennials, are leaving behind traditional religion in record numbers. Because of this, the Church is in a period of transition. It needs to figure out a way to grow without losing its own identity. Most Millennials obviously aren’t looking to costumed heroes for moral guidance, but they may be looking to other places for sources of inspiration.
Terry Gilliam’s Zero Theorem is currently playing in select theaters. CINEMABLEND’s own Kristy Puchko raved about the film. Look for it in a theater near you, at least if you’re not too busy offering up a Hail Wonder Woman.