Adam Driver’s Fantasy

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote at Cannes

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BY: Claire Connors

Is 10 times the charm? Certainly writer/director Terry Gilliam is hoping it is. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, debuting at the Cannes Film Festival this month, is the tenth attempt by Gilliam to produce the fantasy adventure-comedy about the famous windmill slayer by Miguel de Cervantes. Of course there is already controversy about it playing the festival. But first a little background info on the film.

Gilliam began working on the film almost 30 years ago. It was to star Jean Rochefort as Quixote and Johnny Depp as Toby Grisoni, a time-traveling marketing executive from the 21st Century who the mad crusader believes is his partner, Sancho Panza. After numerous stops and starts, recasting of major roles, and natural disasters including illness and flash floods that destroyed camera equipment, the original film was finally scrapped.

Then in March 2017, news came out that cameras were rolling again, this time with the deservedly ubiquitous Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens; BlacKKKlansman) starring as the disillusioned time traveler/Sancho and Gilliam regular, Jonathan Pryce (Brazil) as the demented Quixote.

The film is supposed to premiere at Cannes on May 17th but its former producer Paulo Branco is trying to prevent its debut for legal reasons with Gilliam. Perhaps the tenth time won’t be the charm. We anxiously await the outcome and should be able to see the film sometime this summer in the USA.