Johnny Depp to Produce Modern Day Don Quixote Film for Disney
by Ben Pearson
December 5, 2012
Most film nerds are probably aware that Terry Gilliam, the director of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, has been trying to make a film about Miguel de Cervantes' classic character Don Quixote for years. The excellent documentary Lost in La Mancha details Gilliam's attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a project that had Johnny Depp attached but ultimately fell through due to storms, injuries, and a whirlwind of other issues. Now Deadline reports that Depp will produce a separate project for Disney involving Quixote without Gilliam's involvement. That won't be a fun conversation the next time they meet.
There's no word yet if Depp plans to star in the movie, but he'll produce the untitled film alongside Christi Dembrowski through his Infinitum Nihil banner. The official news here is that Disney has acquired a pitch for a modern re-imagining of the story of the iconic delusional knight and his trusty squire, with Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink writing the screenplay with writer Jeff Morris. Pink may seem like a strange choice for a screenwriter, but his work on High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank give him a pass in many people's eyes, so we'll have to wait and see what he comes up with here.
Gilliam certainly doesn't have any legal monopoly on the character of Don Quixote, but one would assume that Depp might give him a bit of professional courtesy and allow him to finish his longtime passion project before the actor jumps in to steals the director's thunder. It makes this whole thing look even worse because Depp was actually set to star in Gilliam's previous effort, so it's not like he can even claim ignorance to Gilliam's plans as an excuse for moving forward here. There's always the chance that Depp steps up and demands that Gilliam be put in the director's chair for this project, but it seems unlikely that Gilliam would yield to other screenwriters on a project he's carried with him for so long. It just goes to show that Hollywood can still be a cutthroat place, even for former co-workers. Thoughts?