The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been 17 years in the making. Director Terry Gilliam has been on his very own hero’s journey (or some may say fool’s) in bringing his modern retelling of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote to life. Straight from the horse’s mouth, we now have confirmation that principal photography has wrapped on the film.
Plans for the film originally began back in 1989 with the director’s first shoot beginning in 2000 when Johnny Depp was attached. The terrors of that shoot went down in infamy in the documentary Lost in La Mancha, which revealed the lead actor Jean Rochefort suffering a heart attack and the entire set being lost and destroyed in a flash flood.
Since that time, Gilliam has had more foibles getting the film back up and running. Rising star Jack O’Connell was once attached to star back in 2014 before later pulling out. The cast that stuck through for Gilliam includes Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard, Olga Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro, Oscar Jaenada, Jordi Molla, Sergi Lopez, and Rossy de Palma.
The film is based off of Cervantes’ world renowned epic Don Quixote and follows an old man who is convinced he is Don Quixote, and mistakes advertising executive Toby for his trusted companion Sancho Panza. The story moves back and forth between 2017 and 17th century La Mancha (a region in Spain) as Toby begins to lose his grip on reality, concluding in a fantastical and emotional climax. Following closely to the original classic’s storyline about an ordinary man who imagines himself a knight in the times of epic romance and chivalry, this film sounds to be creating a delusion within a delusion, which will surely make for a wild ride of a film.
Gilliam expanded further on the film’s recent milestone in the quote below:
Don Quixote is a dreamer, an idealist, and a romantic, determined not to accept the limitations of reality, marching on regardless of setbacks, as we have done. We’ve been at it so long that the idea of actually finishing shooting this ‘clandestine’ film, is pretty surreal. Any sensible person would have given up years ago but sometimes pig-headed dreamers win in the end, so thank you to all of the ill paid fantasists and believers who have joined to make this longstanding dream a reality!