Posted on Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
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.
Pajiba says that the WB / Joel Silver film is “described as a Pirates of Caribbean-style swashbuckling version of a story in which we discover that Don Quixote isn’t crazy and that there is, in fact, a fantasy world.”
In several ways, if you can think like a studio, this makes so much sense it is amazing that we haven’t already seen it. You’d think the script would basically write itself; with the Sherlock Holmes sensibility applied to the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, you can see this movie in your head without even trying. You may not want to see it, but that’s beside the point.
Of course, there’s still Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which is another film adaptation of Cervantes that significantly tweaks and changes the source material. Gilliam’s version, in which either an ad exec or a screenwriter (not positive which it is in the current draft) travels in time and meets Quixote, who mistakes him for Sancho Panza.
But while Gilliam has sounded very optimistic about actually shooting his Quixote this year, after one disastrous, aborted attempt and time spent reworking the script and gathering new financing, it doesn’t sound as if it’s quite ready. He’s got Robert Duvall locked in to play Quixote and Ewan McGregor in talks to play the screenwriter, but it still sounds like there is money left to raise. If Gilliam can shoot his Quixote this year he’ll probably beat WB to the punch, and at least be able to get his film out first. If not, will he carry on regardless? Seems as if he’s done too much work to quit Quixote now.