Terry Gilliam has been trying to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for a very long time. Following, numerous delays and production shutdowns, it looks like the movie might actually be happening. There's actual footage of an actual movie and everything. The movie that was started, but failed to be completed almost two decades ago now has a very real trailer. Check it out.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Jonathan Pryce as the titular character, or more specifically, somebody who believes he is the titular character. Adam Driver co-stars as a man named Toby who is a modern-day advertising executive who the old man mistakes for his sidekick Sancho Panza. However, as the trailer shows, the film will actually jump between the modern day and 17th century Spain, so things, in traditional Terry Gilliam fashion, are going to get a little weird.
It's more than a little amazing that this trailer even exists. Terry Gilliam has been trying to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for two decades now. The first attempt, that starred Jean Rochefort as Quixote and Johnny Depp as Toby/Sancho actually went into full production back in 2000 but was instantly beset with location problems and Rochefort turned out to be injured and unable to film. What was intended to be a behind-the-scenes feature on the production instead became the documentary film Lost in La Mancha, which chronicled the doomed production. Since then, Gilliam has attempted to make the movie several more times and has had names like Robert Duvall, John Hurt, and Ewan MacGregor all attached to star at various points. However, something, often an inability to find financing, likely due to the $15 million insurance pay out the first production received, always shelved the project.
It's a testament to Terry Gilliam's dedication to this idea that he never let it go entirely. Now that dedication has born fruit, as the movie is finally actually going to be released. And what's more, it looks good. It's got a visual style which is a hallmark of Terry Gilliam's work that is nearly always impressive. Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce look to be a strong pair on screen. Pryce's ability to be funny is underrated and Driver is a perfect straight man.
One wonders just how different this movie would have been if one of the previous attempts had been successful. Seeing John Hurt on the horse in place of Jonathan Pryce isn't all that hard. Seeing Johnny Depp in place of Adam Driver feels like it would have been an entirely different movie.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote doesn't have an official release date, other than it being expected to debut this year. At this point, a release date is just a detail. The movie has been made, and that's what's really important.