The story of Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has evolved over the years to become the horror story parents tell young filmmakers. Gilliam set out to make his fantastical re-imagining of Cervantes’ legendary novel back in 1998, but a series of increasingly insane on-set disasters halted production and the already stretched financing fell apart, forcing the film to shut down early in its shoot. This story was told in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha, which began its life as a future DVD making-of doc and ended up being a tragic and darkly hilarious chronicle of a film production falling apart in slow motion.
And now, after nearly twenty years of false starts, Gilliam is closer than ever to bringing this seemingly cursed passion project to fruition. The film is cast. Location scouting has begun. Shooting starts in October. A bunch of behind-the-scenes photos has been revealed and everything. This could be actually happening.
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Terry Gilliam is like the human punching bag of filmmakers. No matter how many hits he takes — which has been far too many throughout his bumpy career — he remains passionate, persistent, and unwilling to let go of dream projects, such as The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam’s long-suffering fantastical adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel recently showed new signs of life, when the director acquired financing from overseas, which he couldn’t even get with Ewan McGregor and Robert DuVall attached to the project.
We last heard Jack O’Connell would play the protagonist, Toby, but if — and this is one big if — The Man Who Killed Don Quixote starts principal photography this September it’ll instead star Adam Driver. As for the titular role, Gilliam has enlisted an old collaborator of his, Michael Palin (Monty Python).
Learn more about Gilliam’s passionate project and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote star below.
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An adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett‘s Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch has been struggling to get made before the book itself was even published. For over a decade, starting around 1990, director Terry Gilliam tried time and time again to bring Aziraphale and Crowley’s story to the big screen. When Johnny Depp and Robin Williams were attached to star as the angel and demon attempting to prevent the apocalypse, Gilliam still had no luck getting a studio interested.
After all of these years of waiting, though, Gaiman has decided to work on the adaptation himself. Learn more about the Good Omens miniseries below.
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Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 by Jacob Hall
A powerful, malevolent force of some kind does not want Terry Gilliam to make The Man Who Killed Quixote. It’s the only angle that makes sense. Something grand and mysterious and unforgiving has set its sights on Gilliam, one of our most fascinating living filmmakers, and declared “This film will not happen.” The evidence exists in headlines that go back for more than a decade – this movie has almost come together, only to be derailed at the last moment, too many times to count.
But Terry Gilliam, the genius/mad man behind Brazil, Time Bandits, The Fisher King, and Twelve Monkeys, won’t let the universe stand in his way. His passion project has officially earned new financing and will go before cameras this September. Or at least that’s the plan. There’s still plenty of time for a higher power to drop an airplane on Gilliam’s house or something.
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Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Someone who cracks open Terry Gilliam‘s Gilliamesque hoping for a comprehensive and complete portrait of the man’s career may be disappointed. The memoir from the director of Brazil, Time Bandits, and The Fisher King is akin to having a nice, long sit-down with an eccentric uncle who stories to tell and grudges to share. It’s a little rambling and it occasionally leaves big questions unanswered, but at the same time, of course it is. This is Terry Gilliam after all. The guy who directed The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He has a yarn to spin and he’s going to spin it his way.
Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir is captivating reading for anyone with an interest in the filmmaker, who began his career as the Monty Python troupe’s animator and eventually segued into making some of the best and most interesting movies of his time. Gilliam dives deep into his childhood in Minnesota, his adolescence in California, and his attempts to make it big in New York City and London. The book is halfway over before he even gets to the Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
And yet that first half paints a detailed portrait of an artist to be. You can see the elements that later become vital components of Gilliam’s career surface throughout his early life in surprising, funny, and occasionally depressing ways. Let’s run down a few of them, shall we?
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It’s not surprising people like Ant-Man. It’s a funny, cool, and clever superhero pic that relies more on the conventions of a heist movie than a superhero movie. Director Peyton Reed (Down with Love) also made a Marvel movie that doesn’t feature a massive third act with extras running around and the hero fighting a bunch of CG, faceless bots. For a variety of reasons, Ant-Man is a breath of fresh air, so it isn’t surprising when somebody likes the film. But it is surprising when that somebody is director Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, Time Bandits).
Gilliam discusses Ant-Man after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of those things that is actually as good as you remember. No amount of obnoxious over-quoting by comedy nerds trying out their best (i.e., terrible) British accent can ruin the best jokes. An amusing but safely mainstream Broadway musical adaptation cannot diminish its transgressive delights. 40 years later, it’s still one of the best comedies ever made, from one of the most inspired comedy groups to ever walk this planet.
So when long-lost animation from the film is unearthed for the new Blu-ray and DVD release, everyone with good taste has reason to celebrate! And when original Python troupe member/animator/token American Terry Gilliam is called in to provide commentary, everyone with the best taste has additional reason to break out the party favors.
Watch the deleted Monty Python animation, and Gilliam’s commentary, after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Terry Gilliam is a cinematic genius, but he’s also a cinematic genius who wronged a sorcerer in a past life or something. His battles with movie studios are the stuff of legend. The movies that have literally fallen apart around him are too many to count. And then the internet went and falsely reported his death. If Gilliam’s own movies didn’t present a self-awareness about the absurdity of existence and cruel unfairness of life, it would be easy to fear for his sanity.
Could his salvation come via the small screen? We already knew he had a deal in place with Amazon, but now Gilliam has revealed that he’s working on a TV version of his 1981 comedic fantasy Time Bandits. Maybe things are finally looking up for the most cursed of filmmakers.
Check out Gilliam’s own comment on the Time Bandits TV series after the jump.
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The story of Terry Gilliam‘s death was thankfully completely wrong, but his new/old film project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, is having a harder time. The film has been an on-again, off-again proposition for years, originally going before cameras in 2000 with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort in the lead roles before a set of disasters, including physical problems for Rochefort, forced the film to be canceled. We could write a book about the movie’s problems, but there’s already a movie about it, Lost in La Mancha.
The latest incarnation of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been planned to star Jack O’Connell and John Hurt. That’s now in doubt, however, as Hurt’s recent cancer diagnosis means Don Quixote is delayed again. Read More »