After 17 years of pre-production, principal photography has finally wrapped on Terry Gilliam’s embattled The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam has been working on the project since 1989 and originally began shooting the film back in 2000 when Johnny Depp was involved. That ill-fated go was memorably captured in the feature documentary Lost In La Mancha, which cataloged the series of catastrophes that hit the production, including leading man Jean Rochefort having a heart attack and the set being washed away in a flash flood.
Fast-forward to 2017, and Gilliam is no longer tilting at windmills, rejoicing on Facebook that his labor of love is in the can:
Gilliam today added, “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!”
Inspired by Miguel De Cervantes’ literary classic, the film’s cast includes Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro, Óscar Jaenada, Jordi Mollà, Sergi Lopez and Rossy de Palma.
The story follows a deluded old man who is convinced he is Don Quixote, and who mistakes Toby, an advertising executive, for his trusty squire, Sancho Panza. The pair embark on a bizarre journey, jumping back and forth in time between the 21st and 17th century. Gradually, Toby becomes consumed by the illusory world and unable to determine his dreams from reality. The tale culminates in a phantasmagorical and emotional finale.
The shoot took place in Spain and Portugal with a screenplay by Gilliam and Tony Grisoni. Amazon Studios has acquired distribution rights for the U.S., Canada and the UK; Telemunchen has Germany and Austria.
Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky, Amy Gilliam, Tornasol Films, Kinology, Recorded Picture Company, Entre Chien et Loup and Ukbar Filmes in association with Alacran Pictures, are producing with the participation of TVE, Movistar +, Eurimages and Wallimage.