After spending decades trying to get the film made, director Terry Gilliam seems happy with how his dream project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has turned out. The film has been stuck in development hell for so long its almost become something of a punchline, but Gilliam has never given up on trying to get the movie made.
One version of the movie actually started filming in 2000, with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort in the lead roles. The movie was cancelled shortly after filming began thanks to a number of problems, like Rochefort taking ill and floods destroying sets and equipment. The tragic saga was chronicled in the 2002 documentary Lost In La Mancha, which also showed some tantalizing footage from the unfinished movie. Gilliam launched several bids to revive The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in the years since and finally completed filming this year with a new cast that includes Adam Driver, Olga Kurylenko and Jonathan Pryce.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is currently in post-production, and in a new interview with The New York Times, Gilliam has opened up about the positive feedback he’s received from an early cut of the movie:
Well, we’ve almost finished the cut. We’re just fiddling now, figuring out a few things here and there so it’s pretty much what it is. We’ve got still months of work to do on visual effects, sound, music. But as far as the tale, it’s pretty tight now and it’s surprisingly wonderful.
I always hesitate to get too optimistic or too excited about the work I’m doing. I’d rather try to stay cynical and slightly distant from it. When you fall in love with something, it’s painful when it doesn’t work for everybody else. But all the people who’ve seen it so far — they used the words, “We’re in love with this.” So let’s see if they’re right.
This new take will follow a commercials director (Driver) coming across an old student movie he shot based on the Don Quixote story in a Spanish village. He travels back and gets involved in a series of misadventures. For the director, it must have been very emotional to finally bring The Man Who Killed Don Quixote across the final line after so many false starts. He’s tried to get the film going at least eight times in the past, with cast members such as John Hurt, Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor coming and going since his failed attempt in 2000.
Of course, the question that remains is will the film be worth the long wait. The trouble with some dream projects - such as Luc Besson's Valerian adaptation - is that they fail to live up to years of hype, but Gilliam seems optimistic that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was worth all his years of pain and effort getting it made.
Source: The New York Times
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