About 10 years after its inception, it looks like Terry Gilliam’s long lost film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, may actually be on the up and up. The film, which looks at a 21st Century man who is sent through time only to become the sidekick of the legendary hero Don Quixote, originally began shooting in 2000. However, it’s now become one of the most storied productions in film history, with disaster after disaster ultimately culminating with flooding and one of his leads, French actor Jean Rochefort, suffering from a back injury, that canceled the film.
Now, a decade later, it looks like the cast may not be the same, but the film seems to be back on the path to theaters.
According to an interview with Empire, Gilliam has revealed that Johnny Depp has left the film, but has been replaced by Ewan McGregor, as the film’s lead. The film will also see a distinct budget cut, to a budget that is now only $20 million, compared to the $35 million that was set aside for the original project.
While films like Tideland and The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus have shown that Gilliam has lost a step or two (he’s still a visual master however), but I can’t help but be more than excited for this film. This is an immensely personal project for the filmmaker, and hopefully the love that he has for this film will rejuvenate him. He’s a brilliant film maker if films like 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Time Bandits and Brazil are to be believed, so here is to hoping that this will be the kick in the pants that his career has so desperately needed.
For a look at what Gilliam had hoped to do with his first stab at this film, check out the wonderful and eye opening documentary, Lost In La Mancha. It looks at the production of his first take at the film, and it’s not only a stellar film, but it also shows that filmmaking is not always a smooth process.