Terry Gilliam is no stranger to troubled projects. His failed attempt to make a Don Quixote movie with Johnny Depp, titled The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, has become the stuff of movie history, and you can see the whole failed production in the tragic documentary Lost in La Mancha. Well, it appears that Gilliam is not willing to give up on the project, with The Wrap reporting that he intends to begin shooting after Christmas.
Gilliam’s screenplay for the film has changed quite a lot since his version with Depp, becoming a self-referential, modernised story that places a spotlight on Gilliam’s filmmaking woes.
The former Monty Python member told The Wrap:
“I keep incorporating my own life into it and shifting it. The basic underlying premise of that 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…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”
So, it has become more a movie about a Quixote movie than one based around the character himself. Or something like that. We’ll see once – fingers crossed – Gilliam’s film comes to life. But the filmmaker knows that he has less than great luck when it comes to getting films off the ground, so even he’s keeping his hopes in check. “I’ve done it so many times — or not done it so many times — I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said, laughing.
Here’s the trailer for the aforementioned documentary, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote:
– Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI