It really does appear that Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a cursed project. The film first fell about a decade ago, when it was set to star Johnny Depp, and then the rights to the film were caught in a quagmire of legal troubles. When Gilliam got the rights back he signed Robert Duvall as the titular character and Ewan McGregor as Depp’s replacement. However, now the film has hit yet another “hiccup!”
The 69 year old Gilliam was directing an Arcade Fire webcast at Madison Square Garden when MTV asked him about the long-delayed project. The former Monty Python member had this to say:
“We moved forward and then we stepped back a bit. Originally, I thought we were going to be in pre-production right now, but there’s been a little hiccup. And me doing this thing with Arcade Fire is a result of this hiccup with “Don Quixote.” Robert Duvall is still Quixote and Ewan McGregor is still involved — all that stuff is still happening. There’s just been a financial hiccup.”
He went on to elaborate that the lack of progress on the film is because Hollywood is shying away from mid-budgeted films, instead focusing their attentions on big-budget tent pole features:
“I’ll get back to it, but at the moment out there, if you’re not spending a couple hundred million dollars in Hollywood, it’s pretty rough. It’s hard to predict anything. Everyone’s having these problems. I’m not different from anybody else.”
You’ve got to hand it to Gilliam, he’s an eternal optimist. He’s been working on his adaptation of the Cervantes tale – about a 17th Century man who fights windmills believing they are giants – for a long time. In fact, it would seem that Gilliam has turned into Quixote himself, and that this film is his giant/windmill.
In the last few years the film has gone over something of an overhaul, with a script rewrite altering the project somewhat:
“Times have changed and I had been through different experiences, so I thought, “Ah, this is a better way of telling that story.” So I’d say probably two-thirds of the film is exactly the same, but it means something completely different.”
I’ve been following the difficulties with Don Quixote since its first inception (covered wonderfully in the documentary Lost in La Mancha) and it’s one of those films that I won’t believe is happening until I’m sitting watching it. Let’s hope that Gilliam can get back on the horse and bring it to the big screen, sooner rather than later!
Keep reading Screen Rant for more news on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.