terry gilliam don quixote

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 »

Man Who Killed Don Quixote casting

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 »


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. Read More »


Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has undergone quite a few changes. Since Gilliam first attempted to shoot the film in 2000 with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort, the project has been put on hold, recast (with Ewan McGregor and Robert Duvall) and undergone at least one rewrite.

We’d previously heard that the rewrite had changed some small things, like the name and occupation of the main character. But now it seems that some serious changes have been wrought, which among other things might make the picture more attractive to financiers. Read More »


If this news is true, it can be read, basically, as Warner Bros. and Joel Silver giving Terry Gilliam the finger. But that’s Hollywood, right? The studio and producer are reportedly fast-tracking a tentpole film based on Miguel Cervantes‘ massive novel Don Quixote. Read More »


The first time Terry Gilliam tried to shoot The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, he had stars Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort. That production ran into myriad difficulties and was shut down (as chronicled by us in other articles and in the doc Lost in La Mancha) but Gilliam is about to try again. Last year he revealed that Rochefort’s role would be played by Robert Duvall. And now we know that Depp’s role will be taken by Ewan McGregor. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


UPDATE: As was reasonable to suspect, a publicist for Gilliam says that he must have misheard the question, and that Johnny Depp is currently not involved in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

The wild, weird saga of Terry Gilliam‘s film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote continues. We’ve recently learned that Robert Duvall will play Don Quixote, a role originally inhabited by Jean Rochefort before the original production of the film was shut down.

The big question lately has been which actor would play the time-traveling character who encounters Quixote and is mistaken for Sancho Panza. Originally he was played by Johnny Depp. But Depp is booked solid these days, and in recent interviews Gilliam has been less than positive about the way the actor’s career is managed. (“Come on. You’ve got the power to make some really good films happen. Why are you doing this shit?” he said to HitFix.) Depp has said he didn’t want to make Gilliam wait for him, and the filmmaker seemed to accept that.

And yet, in an interview this week, Gilliam appears to confirm that Depp is in the picture. Read More »