Last week I happily reported that Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote might finally see the light of day with Ewan McGregor in a lead role. In a recent interview with MTV however, McGregor downplayed his involvement in the film, saying that he’d be excited to play the part if the film comes together (and knowing the history of Gilliam’s Quixote, that’s a big if).
Check out McGregor’s full quote and a video of his remarks below.
“I try not to think about the pressure and the scary side of what you’re about to embark on, but just think of it as being a challenge. If [‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’] comes about, which it may — and I certainly hope it does, because I’ve wanted to work with [director Terry Gilliam] for a long time — to play that part would be very, very exciting. I won’t worry too much about the pressure of it or what went before. I’ll just knock on wood and hope it’s not the cursed project that everyone says it is.”
McGregor’s language definitely makes it clear that he is not yet confirmed for a role in the film. Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually end up in it. It’s obvious from his comments that he wants to work with Terry Gilliam and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind playing Sancho Panza to Robert Duvall’s Don Quixote. Still, you can’t miss the hint of trepidation in his voice.
It’s easy to see why some people think The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is cursed. The movie has been in various stages of production for more than a decade. In fact, the first attempt at the film, starring Johnny Depp in the role McGregor would be playing, was such an unmitigated disaster that it spawned its own acclaimed documentary aptly titled Lost in La Mancha.
Previously, Terry Gilliam said he wanted to start production on Don Quixote in September. As such, I imagine if McGregor officially takes the part, his people will announce it relatively soon. If not, then I guess it’s back to the drawing board for Gilliam. For his sake (and mine as a huge Gilliam fan), I hope that’s not the case.
What do you think of McGregor’s comments? Can a movie actually be cursed?