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 »
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Not long ago details leaked out indicating that Terry Gilliam was among the filmmakers who had signed a deal with Amazon to create movies and/or TV for the online retail giant’s increasingly ambitious streaming service. (Which now includes theatrical distribution, at least in some cases.) I thought it might all be a fever dream, or one of those Gilliam-esque flights of fancy that is grounded all too soon.
But the deal is real! Terry Gilliam has that sweet, sweet Amazon money, and he’s going to use some of it to finally — finally! — put The Man Who Killed Don Quixote out into the world. Read More »
Amazon has made deals with two filmmakers whose work helped define rebellion against studio control and the American independent film movement. And today, Deadline wins the no-prize for burying the lede. In a wide-ranging piece about the film market landscape, specifically oriented around Cannes deals, the site mentions that Amazon has signed deals with Jim Jarmusch and Terry Gilliam, bringing the two filmmakers to the same label that already boasted Spike Lee and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Read More »
Update: O’Connell has now officially been cast in Gilliam’s film. Our original article follows, and is updated with a new synopsis below.
Jack O’Connell may well be the next big guy to watch. After his stint on Skins, he showed up in 300: Rise of an Empire and ’71, and received rave notes for his work in Starred Up. Holding the lead role in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken means that half the families in the US are going to know his face after that film opens at Christmas. And now he might be the man for Terry Gilliam — The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He would play, according to the most recent draft of the script, a guy who is connected to a Don Quixote movie which has had a fairly undesirable effect on some audiences. Read More »
If anyone knows how movies can damage people, it’s Terry Gilliam. The director has battled over many a film in his time. He fought Universal brass over Brazil, and Columbia over The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Most catastrophically, he battled weather, disaster, and illness during the original shoot of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam lost that fight, but he has been trying to make new versions of the film for several years.
Every time Don Quixote comes up for Gilliam, it changes a bit. He and screenwriter Tony Grisoni have constantly revised the movie. What was once the story of an ad man traveling into the past is now a film set entirely in the present day. Gilliam says he has financing and plans to shoot the movie after Christmas this year. He also says the movie is “more about how movies can damage people.” Read More »
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Here’s something we missed earlier this week in the deluge of new project news from the marketplace at Cannes: Terry Gilliam has chosen some new actors for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. This project has been going on and off for nearly fifteen years, and the most recent incarnation had Robert Duvall set to star as Quixote, with Ewan McGregor tentatively set to play the modern-day writer who ends up back in Quixote’s time, where the old man mistakes him for Sancho Panza. Those actors are both off the project, but it isn’t dead yet. (Or dead again.)
Now there’s news that Gilliam and Spanish producer Adrian Guerra are going back into casting for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Read More »
Never call director Terry Gilliam anything other than tenacious. His latest film, The Zero Theorem, is still making its way through festivals, but he’s got his sights set on a follow-up. At the Camerimage Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Bydgoszcz, Poland, ComingSoon talked to Gilliam, who said his next project is one that he’s tried to make multiple times in the past: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Read More »
Is there any film project more tenacious than Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote? The film just cannot be, er, killed, no matter what happens. Casting problems? It will overcome. Funding and script issues? This movie shrugs them off. Acts of God aren’t even enough.
The film first came together in 2000, with Gilliam directing Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort in the lead roles. The production was beset by disastrous weather, interruption from planes, and injury to Rochefort. The production was scrapped, inspiring the documentary Lost in La Mancha.
The film was revived in 2009 with a rewritten script and possible new casting, with Robert Duvall replacing Rochefort and Ewan McGregor eventually taking Depp’s role. But financing for that version dried up and the project went dormant again. Now the film’s screenwriter, Tony Grisoni, says the film is potentially happening once more. Read More »
I feel for Terry Gilliam. He just can’t seem to catch a break, no matter the project. And in the case of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the film’s history has been more storied than most. He’s been trying to get the movie made for over ten years, and even got as far as filming the thing (with Johnny Depp in the lead role, no less), when the entire production went to hell and was forced into cancellation. These mishaps were captured in detail in the depressing 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha, and I’ve been wary about Gilliam’s attempts to return to the project ever since.
And for good reason, it seems. Read More »