Terry Gilliam’s long-in-development The Man Who Killed Don Quixote seemed closer than ever to happening. It had Adam Driver and Michael Palin in the lead roles, Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) writing the score, and everything was gearing up to start production next month.
Alas, it was not to be.
“I was supposed to start to be shooting it starting next Monday. It’s been slightly delayed. I had this producer, a Portuguese chap, who claimed he’d get all the money together in time. And a few weeks ago, he proved that he didn’t have the money,” Gilliam said. “So we are still marching forward. It is not dead. I will be dead before the film is.”
The downfall of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was chronicled in the terrific documentary Lost in La Mancha, but Gilliam has doggedly refused to give up on the picture even though it has fallen apart time and time again. It’s a bit disheartening that powerhouses like Netflix and Annapurna Pictures won’t throw a little money his way just so he can finish the damn thing. I know they’re not charities, but this is a film that’s almost twenty years in the making. There would be some prestige in being able to finally push it over the finish line.
Of course, the downside is that the film probably won’t measure up to expectations. How could it? The amount of effort poured into this film can’t possibly match how good it would have to be to match that effort. That’s not to say that Gilliam shouldn’t make the movie, but that right now the major accomplishment seems to be just making the picture, quality be damned.