Being a man of old-world sensibilities and traditional standing, Terry Gilliam has decided to send his pal Johnny Depp – who whisked his friend’s dream project out from under his feet, despite the fact that the Brazil director has been trying to make it for over a decade – a letter regarding the actor’s plans to mount his own Don Quixote film over at Disney. ‘Cause, like, hey, Johnny, weren’t you supposed to be making that movie together one day?
Interviewed on the red carpet at The British Independent Film Awards this weekend, Gilliam said: “It’s his horse. It’s not my horse. We’ll have to see where this one goes,” revealing a surprisingly indifferent response. Questioned on it again, though, he added: “We’re going to have to sort this one out. I was busy and then suddenly I saw it [the news]. I [wrote] him a letter, and we’ll see what comes of it. I don’t know what he’s got in mind, but I’ve got my own version,” suggesting that there’s further discussion to be had on the matter.
Depp and Gilliam’s perilous attempts to transform Quixote cinematically can be glimpsed in the 1997 documentary Lost In La Mancha, a project that went just horribly thanks to a combination of poor funding, an increasingly unwell actor in the role of Don Quixote, and some seriously uncompromising weather conditions which resulted in the whole thing being shelved, almost as if the ghost of Orson Welles was reaching out to say: “Don’t even think about it, Mister – if I couldn’t get that shit in the can, nobody will.”
With that letter sent, though, we’ll just have to wait for Depp’s response, a response he’ll presumably send by horseback courier or something equally quirky, if only to out-quirk the quirkiness of Terry Gilliam‘s own method of contact. Meaning that, yes, by the time Gilliam sends his next response by clockwork cockroach, we’ll all be dead and nobody will remember what any of this was even about.