Terry Gilliam’s infamous project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote seems to be alive and well. Last June, the director finished shooting the film, and it now has an official trailer.
The production's origin story dates back to 1998. In that year, Gilliam -- a Monty Python alum -- released Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic 1971 novel. The Johnny Depp-led movie failed to match its $18.5 million budget at the box office (a stark contrast to the massive success of Gilliam’s previous film, 12 Monkeys), yet it’s since become a cult classic. In addition, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas created buzz for Gilliam’s next project with Depp, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. However, it was quickly cancelled because of physical ailments (Jean Rochefort’s herniated disc) and Mother Nature’s wrath (an actual flood). The 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha chronicles the moviemaking madness. Since then, legal problems have continued to derail Gilliam’s cinematic spin on the classic tale by Miguel de Cervantes.
Today, ONE Media released The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’s official trailer. The clip features Gilliam’s lavish production design, aided by naturalistic landscapes and the characters’ jovial personalities. The film stars Adam Driver as Toby Grisoni, an advertising executive who travels back in time. He meets Jonathan Pryce’s character, a man that claims to be none other than Don Quixote. In the trailer, both leads share chemistry in mutual scenes while showcasing their comedic talents individually. It’s a fun 96-second clip, full of windmills, fire and shenanigans, proving that Gilliam is indeed pressing forward with his much-anticipated fantastical epic. You can also check a poster for the film below:
For Gilliam, the trailer marks an important moment in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’s production narrative, though it comes at an awkward time for the director. Just three weeks ago, Gilliam received criticism for his controversial statements about the #MeToo movement, calling it “silly” while suggesting a “mob rule.” On Twitter, notable comedic figures like Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman lashed out against the famous director, sparking new discussions about Gilliam’s filmography and relevancy in general. Now that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’s trailer has been released, the conversation has shifted on Twitter.
So, what do you think? Is The Man Who Killed Don Quixote a must-see, simply because of the backstory? While Adam Driver has immense commercial appeal with his Star Wars following, the supporting cast doesn’t necessarily have that WOW factor, despite the considerable talent of Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, and Olga Kurylenko. Nevertheless, the film just may be quirky enough to become yet another one of Gilliam's cult classics.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote doesn't have an official U.S. theatrical release date at the moment.
Sources: ONE Media