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Terry Gilliam has been talking about making a Don Quixote movie forever—or at least since the 1990s. In 1998, he went into production in Spain with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort—but virtually everything went wrong and the plug was pulled. “It’s obsessive… desperate… pathetic… foolish,” said Gilliam in 2014, referring to his dream to make a film based on Cervantes’ classic. “It’s this growth, this tumor that’s become part of my system that has to get out if I’m to survive.”
Gilliam now says his quest is finally going to be realized. In an interview with The Playlist, the former Monty Python member says he plans to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in 2016 and that the film will be part of his new movie deal with Amazon. Amazon confirmed the news.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote won’t star Depp or Rochefort; the director said he’s cast Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) as industry man Toby and John Hurt (Only Lovers Left Alive) as Quixote, in a surreal version of the story that incorporates his own Quixotic quest to get the movie made.
Amazon could be the partner that Gilliam has long been looking for. “I’m intrigued by their way of doing it,” Gilliam told Playlist. “They go into the cinemas first and then a month or two afterwards they go into streaming. And I think that’s good because you get a chance to see it on the big screen, and yet I know that more people have seen my films on DVD than they have in the cinemas and that’s the reality of life now.”
Gilliam is taking full advantage of his deal, pushing forward projects that might have been harder to sell to one of the studios. “I’ve got a couple other things I’m playing with,” he said. “A couple of old scripts that have been wallowing within the studio system; we’ve got them out, so we’re going to stretch them out. So what was going to become a two and a half hour movie will now become a six-eight part TV series.”
He hinted that the mini-series could be the long-languishing Defective Detective he co-wrote with his Fisher King collaborator Richard LaGravenese.