Director Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote may finally have an official release date. The fantasy film, long a passion-project for Gilliam, was completed earlier this year with Jonathan Pryce, Adam Driver and Stellan Skarsgård heading up the cast.
Gilliam first tried to get a film adaptation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote off the ground in 1998 with a budget of $32 million and Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp leading the cast. However, disaster after disaster hit the production, and Gilliam was finally forced to abandon the project. The overly-ambitious film’s many misfortunes and Gilliam’s grief over same were later detailed in the documentary Lost in La Mancha. Undeterred, Gilliam tried multiple times between 2005 and 2015 to get the movie going again, ultimately electing to scale back the film’s epic ambitions in the name of budgetary prudence. The film finally got underway in 2017 after one last hiccup involving financing.
With The Man Who Killed Don Quixote finally in the can, albeit in a version much different than the one Gilliam originally envisioned, the French film site AlloCine has revealed via Twitter that the film now has a release date, at least in France. According to the site, audiences will finally get to see the fruits of Gilliam’s tortured efforts in May 2018. Amazon Studios has acquired United States distribution rights for the film.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Jonathan Pryce as an insane old man who comes to believe he is Don Quixote, the famed figure from Cervantes’ immortal 1615 novel. The would-be Quixote selects advertising executive Toby (Adam Driver) to be his trusty squire Sancho Panza and, just like in the Cervantes novel, the two head off on a series of mad adventures fueled by Quixote’s delusions.
Lost in La Mancha gave us a hint of what Gilliam originally intended for his film, which was to be a time-jumping narrative with Johnny Depp’s character getting stuck in the period of Cervantes’ novel. It will be interesting to see how much of the large-scale vision hinted at in footage from Gilliam’s abandoned 1998 attempt remains in the version of the film he was finally able to make. Given the tight budget he was forced to work under, it’s likely that Gilliam had to leave many of his more ambitious ideas out of the movie – not that it means the film will be any less impressive.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote also stars Olga Kurylenko, Rossy de Palma, Jordi Molla, Sergi Lopez and Jason Watkins.
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