It seems that Terry Gilliam is no longer Lost in La Mancha, so to speak. The director may finally be able to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, his long-gestating project based on Miguel de Cervantes’ novel and characters, as he explained to The Wrap that the film has a new cast being assembled and financing is in place.
Gilliam’s mission to bring The Man Who Killed Don Quixote to the big screen, which has spawned close to two decades now, has been a tiring and frustrating ordeal for the filmmaker. His original version, which he tried to make with Johnny Depp in the late nineties, was plagued by injuries, disruptive weather and terrible filming conditions. (Watch the superb documentary Lost in La Mancha for more detail about the beleaguered production.)
Apparently, the script has been significantly re-worked and his Don Quixote has changed quite a bit from the film that he was making with Depp more than a decade ago. Now, the story will be contemporary and focus on a man’s attempt to adapt the beloved Spanish novel into a film that did not go according to plan.
“I keep incorporating my own life into it and shifting it,” Gilliam told The Wrap. “The basic underlying premise of the version Johnny was involved in was that he actually was going to be transported back to the 17th century, and now it all takes place now, it’s contemporary. It’s more about how movies can damage people.”
In the film, Depp will play Toby Grisoni, a man who made a movie based on Don Quixote that was quite controversial. “The effect it had on many people wasn’t very nice,” Gilliam says. “Some people go mad, some people turn to drink, some people become whores.”
Jean Rochefort, who was to play Don Quixote in the earlier film, will be in this version as well. The rest of the principal cast has not yet been announced, but Gilliam says that he hopes to start shooting after Christmas, which means that we should be seeing more casting announcements shortly.
In the meantime, the director’s latest effort, The Zero Theorem, will be available on demand beginning on August 19 and in theaters on September 19, so be sure to check that out for a quick Gilliam fix before The Man Who Killed Don Quixote gets underway.
Source: The Film Stage