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Just when we thought it was safe to have hope for Terry Gilliam‘s resumed efforts to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the project is stalled again. The famous first stall was a decade ago, and has been documented so many times that I won’t go into it again. Now Gilliam seems to have Ewan McGregor and Robert Duvall lined up to star in roles once taken by Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort.

But both new actors have recently sounded hesitant about the project, and now Gilliam admits that a financial ‘hiccup’ has temporarily stalled the film.

Speaking to MTV today about the streaming Arcade Fire concert that Gilliam is directing tonight, the filmmaker explained what’s happening with Quixote:

We moved forward and then we stepped back a bit. Originally, I thought we were going to be in pre-production right now, but there’s been a little hiccup. And me doing this thing with Arcade Fire is a result of this hiccup with “Don Quixote.” Robert Duvall is still Quixote and Ewan McGregor is still involved — all that stuff is still happening. There’s just been a financial hiccup.

It’s business as usual. That’s the problem. The sad thing is you get used to this, which is a kind of numbing experience. And to be numb is not the best thing to be creative. You gear yourself up for a certain level of work — and then boom: hiccup. Suddenly the energy had nowhere to go. That’s frustrating. So it was extraordinary to get the call from Arcade Fire. I have to thank them for liberating me from weeks of depression. I’ll get back on “Quixote” after I get back.

So the Arcade Fire gig isn’t as weird as it sounded at first blush. And, in fact, Gilliam told USA Today not long ago that he’s keen to do more work with the band, and vice versa:

We talked about a future idea, which is really what I think this is aiming towards. We’re trying to find out [what that is exactly]. We know there’s a future, but we’re not sure what it is. (Laughs) And this is kind of a way of hanging out and getting to know each other. Of course, their music has always entranced me, it’s blown me away

Not really a surprise, as music has always been a big part of Gilliam’s films, if one that tends to get lost and/or forgotten thanks to his visuals. And as for his actual work tonight with the band, Gilliam told the New York Times that he’s just trying to hang on and make sure the cameras point in the proper direction while the band plays:

There’s some very professional people who’ll be doing what they do well, and I’ll probably try to stay out of everybody’s way. And if it’s good, I’ll take credit for everything, and if it’s bad, nothing to do with me.

You can watch the Gilliam-directed Arcade Fire live webcast tonight at 10pm EST on the YouTube.

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