Terry Gilliam says he finally has the money to complete his Quixotic quest

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Image Credit: Francois Duhamel

After almost 20 years, Terry Gilliam claims that his Quixotic quest to bring Miguel Cervantes’ iconic literary character to the big screen is reportedly back in play. Speaking to The Wrap, the eclectic director said that he finally has financing to begin work on a new take about Don Quixote, which he most famously attempted with Johnny Depp in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. “I’ve done it so many times—or not done it so many times—I’ll believe it when I see it,” he told the site. “However, I’m behaving as if it’s all going to happen [after Christmas] as planned.”

Gilliam’s multiple attempts to mount the production have been extensively documented, most notably in the 2002 documentary, Lost in La Mancha, which told the tale of his failed 1998 production with Depp and Jean Rochefort. In that proposed story, Depp played a modern man who was transported back to the 17th century and met the real Quixote, played by Rochefort. But Gilliam has updated the tale to reflect his long journey and many aggravations. “I keep incorporating my own life into it and shifting it,” Gilliam said. “Our main character actually made a Don Quixote movie a lot earlier in his history, and the effect it had on many people wasn’t very nice. Some people go mad, some people turn to drink, some people become whores.”

Though multiple stars have been attached to Gilliam’s many Quixote projects over the years, including Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor, no cast has been announced yet for his latest attempt. Gilliam, now 73 years old, has The Zero Theorem in theaters in September (and on-demand August 19), but Quixote still haunts him. Earlier this year, he told Empire that getting that movie made remained an obsession: “It’s obsessive… desperate… pathetic… foolish. It’s this growth, this tumor that’s become part of my system that has to get out if I’m to survive.”


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