Terry Gilliam is currently in the process of trying to put together his new production for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He attempted to make the film back in the year 2000 with Johnny Depp on board to star. Unfortunately the production was plagued with problems and was never completed. You can see all of the event's unfold on that production in a great documentary called Lost In La Mancha. Gilliam has reawakened the production a decade later, and as we've reported before he's recast the two main characters. The movie will now star Ewan McGregger and Robert Duvall.
There have been a few changes to the script that we've heard about such as the lead character, Sancho Panza, being changed from an ad man shooting a commercial in Spain to a guy named Toby Grosini who is a screenwriter.
In the original story, the lead character was shooting a commercial in Spain where he met a man who claimed to be Don Quixote. The character is then transported to some kind of alternate reality of Don Quixote's Spain.
Now according to the folks over at Bleeding Cool the story is now entirely set in the present day. There doesn't seem to be any kind of period Spain setting involved. Apparently the reason for the change is so they can shoot the film on a lower budget.
In producer Joel Silver's version of the story Quixote is “not a mad man” but everything he imagines in the novel is instead rendered as quite literal and real. This isn't a good thing, by changing the setting like this you take away the imagination behind the story of Don Quixote, thus taking away all the interesting aspects of the character.
In Gilliam's version of the story they are diving into a blend of imagination and delusion without letting the audience know if the event's in the movie are real or not.
The report explains a little further saying,
Much of remote and remote-ish Spain could easily pass for the 17th century – which, of course, is what allows for period films and scenes to be shot their in the first place. In the new Gilliam Quixote, Grosini and the Knight will find themselves in locations that allows them, and the audience, to forget that they’re in the 21st century… and then, for example, a modern car will come over the horizon and shatter the illusion. The audience and Toby are joined together in believing what they see, so to speak.
It should be incredibly interesting to see what Gilliam actually has in store for us. I'm a huge fan of most of Gilliams work, and I've been looking forward to seeing this version of Don Quixote for a long time. Hopefully he is able to pull off everything that he wants, and that it ends up being a great film. It would be a shame if the movie ended up being crap after ten years of wanting to tell this story.
Here’s the official synopsis on the film from The Recorded Picture Company:
From the unique mind of Terry Gilliam comes his most anticopated film. A decade in the unmaking. Don Quixote leaps into life in this bold and high-spirited comedy.
Don Quixote. Eternal optimist. Madman. Knight. A noble soul who never lets truth get in the way of a great story.
Toby. Frustrated young filmmaker turned unwitting sidekick. Mistaken for Sanch Panza, Toby is charmed into the old man’s eternal quest for his lost lady-love.
As their adventures across Spain veer from the sublime to the ridiculous, Quixote reveals himself as a delusional idealist. Yet could he be the real knight of legend?
Torn between reality and fantasy, Toby must charge headlong into his own imagination.
Don Quixote rides again.
What are your thoughts on the changes made for this movie?