Find Out Which ‘Friends’ Actor Stars in the New Reboot of 1981 Fantasy ‘Time Bandits’

Time Bandits Sean Connery, Craig Warnock, 1981
Twentieth Century Fox/Everett Collection

In 1981, Monty Python stars Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin brought us a new kind of family-friendly fantasy film: Time Bandits, following a boy who accidentally joins a band of time-traveling dwarves on the hunt for treasures. Financed by Beatles singer George Harrison‘s HandMade Films and starring beloved actors John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, Katherine Helmond and Craig Warnock, the British fantasy adventure drama is so beloved that Apple TV+ has announced a new television series adaptation of the film, created by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.

The creative pair recall growing up and seeing the film for the first time, uncovering a genre that was entirely new and exciting to them. Waititi said, “It was just nothing I’d really ever seen before. I remember being freaked out by a lot of it. A lot of the kids’ films back then were not as inventive and imaginative.”

Time Bandits 2024

Apple TV+/IMDb

Clement added, “I was pretty young, so it would have been one of the bigger introductions to Terry Gilliam and British comedy. Seeing John Cleese as Robin Hood is still one of the funniest scenes in any movie, I think.”

Time Bandits US poster art, from top left: John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Ralph Richardson, Peter Vaughan, David Warner, Katherine Helmond, Sean Connery, 1981

AVCO Embassy Pictures/Everett Collection

The new series, which tells the tale over 10 episodes, follows a young boy named Kevin, played by Kal-El Tuck, who heads on a journey through history with an eclectic group, led by Penelope (Lisa Kudrow). Waititi said that he always wanted to work with the Friends star and is thrilled to have finally had the chance. He shared, “I just love Lisa Kudrow and thought it’d be awesome to see her leading a band of idiots through time.”

Time Bandits Malcolm Dixon, Tiny Ross, Jack Purvis, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Mike Edmonds, 1981

Avco Embassy/Everett Collection

He added that fans will have to watch to see some surprise cameos. He explained, “I loved working with the cast and all the actors that we got in. We have repeat actors who change roles throughout the different episodes. They have that in the film as well. It’s kind of the Monty Python thing, where people come back and play a different character.”

Time Bandits premieres on Apple TV+ on July 24, 2024.

1980s Top Summer Blockbusters
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1980s Top Summer Blockbusters

July 2019

Celebrate the biggest summer movies of the ’80s, when moviegoing morphed from mere entertainment to blockbuster events.

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