Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi dystopia flick The Zero Theorem will finally open in U.S. theaters this September, but the filmmaker is already looking ahead to his next (planned) project: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Now, fans of the director know that he’s been saying that he wants to make his Don Quixote film next many, many times, since his initial attempt at production ended up being cancelled part-way through (an event chronicled in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha). This time, however, there’s a slight twist.
Earlier this year, Gilliam said that expected to begin shooting Don Quixote this September, in the Canary Islands; problem was, he didn’t have the financing all properly lined up at the time. Cut to the present and the filmmaker has informed The Wrap that he’s gained the necessary funding at last. As such, Gilliam’s producers are currently in the midst of negotiations with potential cast members, while the director plans ahead to begin principal photography after this Christmas – so early 2015, in essence.
Gilliam’s original Man Who Killed Don Quixote script revolved around a modern-day fellow (played by Johnny Depp during the original production attempt) who gets sent back in time to the 17th century, where he encounters the real Don Quixote (Jean Rochefort). However, Gilliam says he’s revised the screenplay so it’s now entirely “contemporary” and has meta elements to the story – as it deals with “how movies can damage people.”
“Our main character actually made a Don Quixote movie a lot earlier in his history, and the effect it had on many people wasn’t very nice. Some people go mad, some people turn to drink, some people become whores.”
It’s both appropriate and not at all surprising that Gilliam would alter the storyline for Man Who Killed Don Quixote, so as better reflect the real-life madness behind making it (see: how Gilliam’s proposed Watchmen movie ended). Alejandro González Iñárritu’s upcoming Birdman likewise has something of art-imitating-life twist, with its casting of Michael Keaton as a former superhero movie star. Gilliam’s revised Don Quixote project, in typical sounds, sounds even more “out there” and post-modern in its sensibilities that his peers’ work.
However, even Gilliam is saying “I’ll believe it when I see it,” with regard to the prospect of Don Quixote finally, finally getting made. Still, his passion for the project is clearly there, even if he’s largely driven by a desire to exorcise his need to see the film through at last. Besides, even now that’s he in his 70s, there’s still no one out there who makes movies quite like Gilliam’s; hopefully, we’ll get to see this bizarre vision of his realized at last.
We’ll continue to keep you up to speed on the status of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Source: The Wrap