Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote might finally see the light of day in North America – for real this time. Gilliam’s film went through years of turmoil before he was able to finish it – and even then, the problems still weren’t over. Amazon was set to distribute the flick, but pulled out at the last minute, leaving Don Quixote‘s U.S. release in limbo. Now, Screen Media has acquired the North American rights, with plans to release the film in 2019.
What a journey it has been for Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam began shooting the film in 2000, with Johnny Depp in the lead, but production woes plagued the project from the start, including illness, injury, and a significant lack of money. As a result, production was halted, and then cancelled entirely. But Gilliam didn’t want to let the Don Quixote go. He spent the next 17 years trying to relaunch the film, and finally managed to do so in 2017, with Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in the leads.
Despite all the odds, Gilliam finally finished the film. But his problems were far forever. Amazon was supposed to distribute the movie, but backed out. Then Gilliam ran into trouble with the film’s former producer, who claimed he owned the rights to Don Quixote. With each new setback, it seemed more and more unlikely that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote would land itself a North American distribution.
But things are finally looking up. Screen Media has just snapped up the rights to the movie, and hope to release it theatrically in March 2019. “Terry Gilliam is a true auteur and his latest film does not disappoint. It is the perfect pairing of a film with a filmmaker, the story of Don Quixote, a man who believes in things that seemingly no one else believes in, until finally, they share his vision,” said David Fannon, President of Screen Media. “Screen Media is thrilled that US audiences will finally get to see Terry Gilliam’s quest.”
In addition to Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Stellan Skarsgard, Olga Kurylenko and Jordi Molla. In the fantastaical tale, “Toby (Driver), a frustrated filmmaker and disillusioned advertising executive, becomes pulled into a world of time jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler (Pryce) who believes he is Don Quixote, mistakes Toby for his trusted squire Sancho Panza. Pulled further into the cobbler’s world, Toby gradually becomes unable to tell his dreams from reality.”
Our own Jacob Hall got to witness Gilliam’s film at Fantastic Fest this year, and had mostly positive things to say:
“Like all Terry Gilliam movies, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote threatens to derail at any given moment and its sheer number of ideas and gags feel like they’re too much for a single movie (or even a single scene in some cases). But in Driver and Pryce, Gilliam has found an anchor – two actors who understand the exact tone the filmmaker is shooting for and commit wholeheartedly. It’s incredible to see Pryce teaming up with Gilliam again so long after Brazil and the veteran actor chews into his role with gusto. However, the movie asks the most of Driver and he delivers the single best performance in a Gilliam movie since Robin Williams in The Fisher King. Manic and hilarious and ultimately soulful, his journey from jaded corporate hack to dreamer is quintessential Gilliam and Driver finds a way to make it fresh.”
Now, all that’s left for everyone to do is wait. Just like we’ve been waiting for this film for nearly 20 years. But that long wait is almost over…unless something else goes wrong.
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