When you are obsessed with movies and the industry that makes them, it becomes a sad fact of life that you will hear about millions of amazing project ideas that simply don’t come together. There was a time not all that long ago when it seemed likely that either David Fincher or David Cronenberg were going to be adapting Charles Burns‘ brilliant graphic novel Black Hole for the big screen. Where did that go? Down the drain. For many years, Tim Burton seemed prepared to adapt Katherine Dunn‘s classic, malevolent Geek Love. It never happened. And let’s not even get into all the nonsense and missed opportunities that had to go down before Zack Snyder was finally given permission to destroy everything you loved about Alan Moore‘s Watchmen.
Of these many “what if” propositions and abandoned productions – let us not forget what happened to Edgar Wright with Ant-Man – The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a crown jewel of sorts. Back in the 1990s, Brazil director Terry Gilliam had the idea to adapt a variation on the story of Don Quixote in a distinctly Gilliamesque way and brought soon-to-be spousal assault pin-up Johnny Depp along for the ride. The production was a disaster, complete with technical issues, weather problems, and nervous backers, to the point that a very good documentary was released about the troubled shoot, called Lost in La Mancha. The movie never came to pass and Gilliam went on to direct a series of mediocrities until Amazon decided to step in and give the famed Time Bandits director a second chance with Quixote.
That confidence in Gilliam has payed off today, as Gilliam took to social media today to announce that filming has wrapped on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote some 17 years after he initially took the project on. The new film stars Adam Driver in the lead role, but there’s not much else to know about the project right now and, if we’re being honest, that’s for the better. Considering the legacy that this movie comes burdened/equipped with, there should be some mystery to the project until it’s available to see but I’m sure we’ll be learning quite a lot about the movie as the months go on. For now, I’m just going to stare at the photo Gilliam posted along with the announcement of completing the shoot, which you can look at below, and fantasize a little bit.