Terry Gilliam is a filmmaker known for bizarre stories, innovative storytelling, and a penchant for the quirky and odd. So it’s no wonder that his latest film, which also happens to be his oldest film, having been in some form of production for the past 29 years, is finally going to be released in North American theaters.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a movie based loosely on the novel Don Quixote that has been adapted into a more modern-day context. The story of the book and movie focuses on a nobleman from the Spanish era who loses his mind and dedicates himself to following the chivalrous and obscure code of knighthood. The stories involve him embarking on many adventures, along with a peasant sidekick, that range from witty and endearing to downright ridiculous. Gilliam’s take on the story is just as lofty and whimsical, but his journey to getting the movie made in many ways overshadows the film itself.
The film stars recent Oscar nominee Adam Driver as a contemporary advertising agent, who is mistaken for Quixote’s peasant sidekick, while Jonathan Pryce plays the titular Quixote. The newest trailer for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote recently released on the YouTube channel for Screen Media Films, who were the ones to have secured the rights to the film for North American release.
Gilliam started his development of this story originally in 1989, but was not able to fund the film until 1998 when production began with Johnny Depp in Driver’s role. A series of unpredictable events, such as destruction of equipment by flooding, the illness of the original actor portraying Quixote, inability to insure the project, and eventual financial problems caused delays that led to the cancellation of that production. The troubles that Gilliam faced were so profound, that the making-of feature for that movie was actually released as its own documentary film entitled Lost In La Mancha.
The film attempted to get off the ground several times after that, with multiple actors and producers being attached, but ultimately never resulted in anything tangible. It wasn’t until 2016 when Adam Driver came aboard and helped with securing funding that the film was eventually completed and released in film festivals.
The trailer The Man Who Killed Don Quixote looks like a movie straight out of Gilliam’s mind, as most of his works often do. The film seems intriguing with possibly a career-best performance by Pryce. Despite its critical or commercial success, the movie can be seen as a testament to perseverance in an industry known for its famously short attention span.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote releases on April 10, 2019, in select North American theatres for one night only.