Back in a Newswire post written nearly a year ago, I wrote:
Because he's a man with an irrepressible vision—or possibly just a glutton for punishment—director Terry Gilliam has revived The Man Who Killed Don Quixote seven years after his original production flamed out in a spectacular way. Gilliam first attempted to do Quixote on a tighter budget than he wanted, and the project was beset by one mishap after another, including a 70-year-old star (Jean Rochefort) who suffered a double hernia and couldn't continue, and a flash flood that wiped out the set. When the plug was pulled, the insurance company paid out $15 million and took control of the script. (The whole mess is accounted for in the excellent documentary Lost In La Mancha.) Now, aided by the considerable leverage of co-star Johnny Depp coming off the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, Gilliam has an unexpected lease on life. No matter what happens, another great behind-the-scenes featurette awaits.
If it sounded then like production was imminent, that obviously wasn’t the case. But news comes from Variety today that it’s happening for reals this time. No, seriously. With The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus finally done and ready to premiere at Cannes this month, Gilliam can finally turn his attention the project, which will be produced by Jeremy Thomas, with whom he worked on Tideland. Beyond finding the right replacement for Rochefort, the only lingering question is Depp’s schedule, but they seem determined to start shooting next spring. What could possibly go wrong?