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Terry Gilliam is a fascinating filmmaker whose mystique and reputation is informed as much by his failures as by his successes. His most critically heralded film was the mind-bending adventure Brazil, which was a commercial flop. But perhaps his biggest and most defining failure is the movie that this tenacious filmmaker has yet to complete, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam first tried to shoot his adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote back in the fall of 2000 with recurring collaborator Johnny Depp set to star. However, the production fell apart in a most fantastic fashion, which was immortalized in the behind-the-scenes documentary Lost in La Mancha.
Despite repeated attempts to recast and remount, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Gilliam has yet to finish the film that haunts him. But much to our surprise, last week it was announced that Depp is developing his own Don Quixote movie over at Disney. Would Gilliam be involved? It seems not. HeyUGuys caught up with Gilliam at last night's British Independent Film Awards, and after asking him about his recently wrapped production of the star-stuffed drama, The Zero Theorem, the reporter asked what Gilliam knew about Depp's Don Quixote. You can check out his response below, thanks to a tip from The Playlist:
Though admittedly tired from the Bucharest shoot of The Zero Theorem, Gilliam seems in good spirits to get rolling on the drama's post-production. Plus, he's hopeful that it will debut in the fall of 2013, declaring it "an autumn film." But when it came to talking about Don Quixote, he's a bit cagier. When asked if he's involved with Depp's project, he seems to say no, but then states:
"We're going to sort this one out. I was busy and then suddenly I saw [news of] it. So, I've written him a letter, we'll see what comes of it. I don't know what he's got in mind, but I've got my own version."
From this it's clear Gilliam has not been contacted to be a part of Disney and Depp's Don Quixote, which considering his plagued productions on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and string of domestic box office flops (The Brothers Grimm, Tideland, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parsassus) isn't a surprise. Still, near the end of the clip Gilliam seems to suggest he wouldn't be too interest in studio work, referring to that route of filmmaking as "the machine." And if you've seen any of Gilliam's works, you know how he regards authority, which is to say with utter distrust.