There are passion projects, and then there’s Terry Gilliam’s long-gestating adaptation of the literary classic Don Quixote.
Legendary filmmaker Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) has been working the better part of two decades to create a Don Quixote film, previously under the moniker The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and he tells The Wrap that it’s finally going to happen. Really.
Here’s the choice quote:
“I’ve done it so many times—or not done it so many times—I’ll believe it when I see it,” he told the site. “However, I’m behaving as if it’s all going to happen [after Christmas] as planned.”
This isn’t the first time Gilliam has mounted a bid to film Quixote, and the closest he ever came was back in 1998 when he had Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort attached in the starring roles. Everything from flash floods to injuries to the cast finally derailed the project, and Gilliam has spent the decade since continually flirting with the idea. The project was such a famous failure that it inspired its own documentary, dubbed Lost in La Mancha, released in 2002.
As for the new-look Don Quixote project? Gilliam said he’s incorporated concepts from his original pitch, and evolved the concept based on the hellacious experience he’s had trying to bring the project to life. It sounds a bit meta, which, this being Gilliam, has us very excited:
“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.”
We’re psyched to hear Gilliam seems to have secured funding, but we won’t be getting our hopes up until there’s a release date on the calendar and a rough cut in Gilliam’s hands.
What do you think? Will Don Quixote finally, finally happen?