, the “Cursed” Film 29 Years in the Making">Get a First Glimpse of Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the “Cursed” Film 29 Years in the Making
One possible response to the tantalizing notion of a Terry Gilliam film about Don Quixote: How hasn\'t he made one already? Another possible response: Wait, hasn\'t he made one already?
, which premiered at Cannes last month, arrives 29 years after Gilliam first started working on it — and 16 years after
, a well-received documentary about one of his failed attempts to shoot it. Long the perfect symbol of a "cursed" production doomed to an eternity in "development hell," it has somehow come back from the dead, resurrected by the sheer doggedness of Gilliam and his collaborators, time and time again.
The movie even survives John Hurt and Jean Rochefort, two of the stars previously signed on to play Quixote himself. (The list also includes Robert Duvall and Gilliam\'s fellow Python Michael Palin.) Jonathan Pryce, best known at the moment as
\' High Sparrow, has ultimately taken on the role, having been attached to play others in the project over the previous decades. But just as Gilliam\'s film doesn\'t straightforwardly adapt Cervantes\' classic of Spanish literature, Pryce doesn\'t straightforwardly portray Cervantes\' iconic character. He does it, rather, through a Spanish shoemaker who truly believes he is Cervantes\' iconic character, having played him in a student film years before.
The student filmmaker has grown up to become a cynical adman, one meant to be played in previous versions of
by Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, and Jack O\'Connell. In the trailer above you\'ll see the character played by Adam Driver, who in recent years has fast ascended into the realm of indie-film royalty. Whereas earlier scripts flung him back through time from modern day into 17th-century Spain, this one stays in the present and forces him to confront the outsized impact of his small film on the even smaller village in which he shot it. And so the story of the film, not just the story behind it, takes on themes of the unpredictable complications, consequences, and even dangers of filmmaking.
. The latest manifestation of the film\'s supposed curse takes the form of a lawsuit by a former producer, Paulo Branco, who insists he still owns the rights to it. Gilliam\'s current producer says otherwise, but their recent loss in the Paris Court of Appeals has given the notoriously forceful Branco reason — valid or not, nobody seems quite able to say — to publicly declare victory. Whichever party will finally have to cough up however much money to settle all of this, the epic journey of Gilliam\'s Don Quixote project looks as if it has entered its home stretch. However the world receives the film itself, Gilliam\'s fans can almost certainly look forward to another acclaimed documentary about it as well.
Terry Gilliam Reveals the Secrets of Monty Python Animations: A 1974 How-To Guide
Watch “The Secret Tournament” & “The Rematch,” Terry Gilliam’s Star-Studded Soccer Ads for Nike
Yale Presents a Free Online Course on Miguel de Cervantes’ Masterpiece
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book
The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles
We\'re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture\'s continued operation, please consider making a donation. We thank you!
Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. --> You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
I’m a bit amazed by Giliams work. But, a chance to watch a movie that doesn’t envolve cgi super heros running around saving the world is always welcome.
We\'re hoping to rely on loyal readers, rather than erratic ads. Click the Donate button and support Open Culture. We thank you!
Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email. We never spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational media. He finds the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & movies you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.
©2006-2018 Open Culture, LLC. All rights reserved.
if you like our Facebook fanpage, you\'ll receive more articles like the one you just read!