Terry Gilliam Moves Forward with Don Quixote, Take Two
by Christopher Campbell
May 14, 2009
Even if Terry Gilliam wasn't my all-time favorite filmmaker, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's Lost in La Mancha, which focuses on Gilliam's doomed, never-completed film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, would still be one of the saddest documentaries I've ever seen. Fortunately, though, their story now has a happy ending, at least off screen, because Gilliam is officially on track for another go at helming the infamous project, as reported by Variety. Back in January, we learned that the director had finally regained the rights and that he and original screenwriter Tony Grisoni were working on a new version of the script.
Their script features some changes - initially, it was about an ad executive who travels back in time and is mistaken for the character Sancho Panza. However, now it's about a filmmaker who ends up joining Quixote as an "unwitting" Panza. Changing the role to one more relative to Gilliam's own profession makes sense given the theme of determination in Cervantes' classic tale. A quote from Gilliam could almost be attributable to the literary knight-errant: "I'm not so much a filmmaker as someone who gets possessed by an idea and it doesn't leave me until I make the film," he told Variety. "I commit myself to it so fully."
Gilliam is currently in Cannes with his latest film, the nearly similarly doomed The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. British producer Jeremy Thomas (Tideland) will develop this second iteration, with Hanway Films handling international pre-sales of the film, which is a good sign that it will actually get made this time. Gilliam claims to be in talks with Johnny Depp to bring the actor back, and he's hoping to begin shooting next spring. Hopefully Fulton and Pepe will be there with Gilliam to shoot a sequel to Lost in La Mancha, too. This time, I'll pray that it ends up being one of the happiest documentaries I've ever seen.