Everybody knock on wood, or cross your fingers, or perform the superstitious good-luck ritual of your choice, because Terry Gilliam has defied whatever cosmic forces were blocking him from completing his multi-decade quest to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The film has wrapped principal photography in Spain and Portugal, according to Variety. The film has been in the works since 1989, when Gilliam first conceived the project, and has gone through multiple lead actors and multiple failed attempts to shoot the movie, one of which is documented in 2002’s Lost In La Mancha. This time around, Adam Driver, Stellan Skarsgård, and Jonathan Pryce star, with a script by Gilliam and his Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas co-conspirator Tony Grisoni.
But Gilliam’s not out of the windmills yet: The film still has to go through post-production (it already has a distributor in Amazon Studios), and has challenges yet to overcome before it makes it to theaters. First, there’s the investigation into whether Gilliam and crew damaged a UNESCO heritage site while filming at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar, central Portugal, a controversy Gilliam dismisses as “ignorant nonsense.” Then there’s the French film executive who claimed that he, not Gilliam, owns the rights to Don Quixote, making the film “illegal.” Gilliam and his producers, of course, dismiss that claim as well. The ever-confident Gilliam goes so far as to celebrate the completion of shooting in a statement, saying, “Any sensible person would have given up years ago, but sometimes pig-headed dreamers win in the end, so thank you to all of the ill-paid fantasists and believers who have joined to make this longstanding dream a reality!’’