In December 1999, Terry Gilliam announced that both he and Tony Grisoni were to begin adapting Good Omens for the big screen. Almost immediately, the work halted due to problems sourcing a firm deal on the prospective film only to be restarted in August when a deal with Renaissance Films for the script developmemt was sealed.
By mid 2001, the script was completed but problems were still being encountered in trying to locate funding to produce the picture - especially from a US studio. Gilliam admitted that the proposed film was :
"...quite expensive, this one, the most expensive thing I've ever done."
Projected costs were reputed to be $50 - $65 million of which $15 million was needed from a US backer.
Despite these problems, shooting was planned to begin in Spring/Summer of 2002. Unfortunately, in March 2002, Terry Gilliam announced that he was putting the project back on hold due to the difficulty in finding an American backer.
In January 2003, Gilliam told SCI FI Wire that the project wasn't entirely dead, but was currently on life support as he was still unable to raise the necessary finances. One possible reason for the lack of financial interest was that the project was originally touted around prospective backers only two months after September 11th 2001. As Good Omens is a comedy about the apocalypse, this could be reasonably described as incredibly bad timing but Gilliam was still hopeful that the film could be completed at some point.
At the same time, Terry Pratchett noted in a post to alt.fan.pratchett:
"I truly believe that there is now no chance of Good Omens being made into a movie."
However, on August 23rd 2004 Neil Gaimen announced:
"Well, I think it's probably a bit early to write off the Good Omens film any more than it was already. Terry Gilliam is now explicitly not, alas, going to be directing it (although it's still got a Terry Gilliam script) but the producers seem quite enthusiastic, and just put in an offer to a director whose work Terry Pratchett and I both like very much."
Whilst, the following day,Terry warned, in alt.books.pratchett:
"Don't write the movie off yet."
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