Time Bandits Reboot First Look Reveals Friends Star In Sci-Fi Fantasy Series

By Jason Collins | Published

The awaited Time Bandits, a reboot of a 1981 movie of the same name, just dropped its first look—six years after reports about AppleTV+ making the series based on the iconic movie—and the fans are ecstatic as they finally get to see how the new series will look. Not only that, but Lisa Kudrow, aka Phoebe from the iconic Friends series, is also starring in the new Time Bandits show.

Co-created by Taika Waititi of the infamous Thor: Love & Thunder and Jemaine Clement, the upcoming AppleTV+ adaptation of the 1981 fantasy classic Time Bandits is supposed to debut on July 24 this year.

Return Of A Classsic

The series will follow an 11-year-old history geek named Kevin, who embarks on a journey through centuries, joined by a ragtag group of thieves. The new series will reimagine the classic story over ten episodes long, which isn’t all that surprising—single-season mini-series are the bread and butter of the streaming industry.

Lisa Kudrow Goes Through Time

Whatever the case, the time bandits—the actual group of thieves—are led by Lisa Kudrow’s Penelope. Waititi specifically stated that both he and Clement long admired Kudrow’s work, especially in HBO’s The Comeback series, and had long wanted to work with the iconic actress—Waititi even showed his admiration by wearing a “Smelly Cat” T-shirt when meeting with Kudrow, which is her character Phoebe’s most iconic song from Friends—though he denied that he wore that t-shirt on purpose.

Production Beset By Controversies

The upcoming Time Bandit series isn’t without its fair share of controversies, especially after Charlyne Yi posted on social media that they were physically assaulted and psychologically abused by an actor on the Time Bandits set. Of course, Paramount TV spokesperson immediately stated that the matter is being investigated thoroughly, but due to the nature of the investigation, the details surrounding the allegations will, for now at least, remain confidential and undisclosed.

The Original Is A Who’s Who Of Stars

sean connery

For those who haven’t seen the original Time Bandits movie, the 1981 British fantasy adventure movie was co-written, produced, and directed by Terry Gilliam of the Monty Phyton comedy troupe and starred Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Peter Vaughan and David Warner.

Just like the upcoming series, it also follows a story about a young boy who goes on temporal adventures with a band of thieves who plunder treasures from various points in history.

Time Bandits Returns This Summer

sean connery

The original Time Bandits was a commercial and critical success favored by the audiences. It garnered many positive reviews and went on to start Gilliam’s Trilogy of Imagination, which also encompasses 1985’s Brazil and 1988’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Time Bandits was, since its release, re-released in basically every format imaginable, including Betamax and LaserDisc, and Marvel Comics even published an adaptation comic book of the Time Bandits in 1982. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Kevin and the thieves made cameos in the MCU?

The upcoming Time Bandits series starring Lisa Kudrow of Friends is scheduled to premiere on July 24, 2024, on AppleTV+.