Variety caught up with filmmaker Terry Gilliam at the Deauville American Film Festival this past week and learned that his seemingly cursed dream project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, suffered more than a financial hiccup last month.
The former Monty Python animator confessed that financing for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote outright collapsed “about a month and a half ago” and that “the [original] plan was to be shooting ‘Quixote’ right now.” Despite this most recent setback, Gilliam insists that the search for new financing rights has already begun.
Rumors that esteemed actor Robert Duvall will play “Quixote” were confirmed by Gilliam last year – according to the filmmaker, that is still the case. Ewan McGregor is not officially set to star as Duvall’s sidekick in the movie but (going off Gilliam’s word) he is virtually a lock for the part.
Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe’s documentary Lost in La Mancha chronicled the tumultuous nature of Gilliam’s first attempt to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with Johnny Depp back in 2001 (see below). That doomed project has become legendary over the past decade and has served as a cautionary tale for aspiring filmmakers about how wrong even a professional production can go.
Fans of Gilliam and his warped breed of cinematic artistry continue to hold out hopes that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will actually happen in the future – the infamous history of the project will likely both attract and deter potential financiers from deciding to back it at this point.
Will The Man Who Killed Don Quixote ultimately prove to be worth all the time and effort that Gilliam has sunk into getting it made? That is a question that even the filmmaker himself cannot truthfully answer for now.
As he put it:
“‘[The Man Who Killed] Don Quixote’ gives me something to look forward to, always. Maybe the most frightening thing is to actually make the film.”