Cannes 2009: Don Quixote Rides Again

Terry Gilliam's passion project is revived, but will Depp return?

by | May 15, 2009 | Comments

Terry Gilliam’s seemingly cursed adaptation of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is set to be revived, nearly 10 years after his first crack at the material was abandoned.

The announcement was made in Cannes this week, where Gilliam is presenting latest film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and means we may finally get to see the director’s vision for Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th century tome.

Gilliam has apparently been working with original co-screenwriter Tony Grisoni on a new script, which substitutes a filmmaker for an ad executive as the lead character. According to Variety, said character is charmed into joining Don Quixote’s eternal quest for his lady love, becoming an unwitting Sancho Panza.

Grisoni told The Hollywood Reporter “Nearly 10 years on, I find myself lending a hand to get that crazed giggling bedlamite back in the saddle. I’m talking Don Quioxte. In spite of God and the devil, he shall ride again.”

The director’s original 2000 effort was plagued with problems, from bad weather destroying the sets to leading man Jean Rochefort’s falling ill. Production was eventually shut down, although Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe crafted the brilliant documentary Lost in La Mancha from behind-the-scenes footage, which became a hit in its own right in 2002.

Gilliam is now in talks with Johnny Depp to reprise his role from the original attempt, although scheduling conflicts mean he may have to look elsewhere for his Panza.

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