Twelve Monkeys

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12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt, with Christopher Plummer and David Morse in supporting roles. After Universal Studios acquired the rights to remake La Jetée as a full-length film, David and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script.

The film was released to critical praise and grossed $168.8 million worldwide. Pitt was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and he won a Golden Globe Award for his performance. The film also won and was nominated for various categories at the Saturn Awards.


A deadly virus, released in 1996, wipes out almost all of humanity, forcing survivors to live underground. A group known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is believed to have released the virus.

In 2035, James Cole is a prisoner living in an underground compound beneath Philadelphia. Cole is selected to be sent back in time to find the original virus to help scientists develop a cure. Meanwhile, Cole is troubled by dreams involving a foot chase and shooting at an airport.

After the release of The Zero Theorem in 2013, claims were made that Gilliam had meant it as part of a trilogy. A 2013 review for The Guardian newspaper said, “Calling it [The Zero Theorem] the third part of a trilogy formed by earlier dystopian satires Brazil and Twelve Monkeys [sic]”; but in an interview with Alex Suskind for Indiewire in late 2014, Gilliam said, “Well, it’s funny, this trilogy was never something I ever said, but it’s been repeated so often it’s clearly true [laughs]. I don’t know who started it but once it started it never stopped”

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