More than 17 years after first trying to get his passion project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground, director Terry Gilliam is finalizing his cut of the movie, and it may be ready to hit theaters next year. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote wrapped production in June, with one of its cast members, Oscar Jaenada, revealing in a September interview that they're planning a world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. While that debut has not yet been confirmed, director Terry Gilliam revealed in a new interview that he has almost finished assembling the cut. Here's what he had to say below.
"Well, we've almost finished the cut. We're just fiddling now, figuring out a few things here and there so it's pretty much what it is. We've got still months of work to do on visual effects, sound, music. But as far as the tale, it's pretty tight now and it's surprisingly wonderful."
It's not surprising that the director is eyeing a Cannes debut, since it was at Cannes in 2016 where director Terry Gilliam announced that the movie was finally going to happen, after almost two decades of delays. Terry Gilliam had been working on the story since 1989, but it wasn't until the year 2000 that he first went into production, with a disastrous shoot that was ultimately shut down for numerous reasons, which were chronicled in the 2003 documentary Lost in La Mancha. When asked how he feels about this long-delayed movie that is almost ready to be shown to the world, the director had this to say.
"I always hesitate to get too optimistic or too excited about the work I'm doing. I'd rather try to stay cynical and slightly distant from it. When you fall in love with something, it's painful when it doesn't work for everybody else. But all the people who've seen it so far, they used the words, 'We're in love with this.' So let's see if they're right."
The story centers on an advertising executive (Adam Driver) who jumps back and forth in time between 21st century London and 17th century La Mancha, where Don Quixote (Jonathan Pryce) mistakes him for Sancho Panza. The cast also includes Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgard, Jordi Molla and Jason Watkins. After the infamous production attempt in 2000, director Terry Gilliam tried to get this project off the ground numerous other times, with Jack O'Connell attached as Toby back in 2014, while stars such as Ewan McGregor and Robert Duvall eyeing the project at various points throughout the years, which was often delayed because the project would keep losing financing from several different financial backers.
Amazon Studios is set to distribute the movie, but there has been no word on when a theatrical or a streaming release may be announced. Still, with the first cut finally coming together, we may hear more about this soon. You can head over to The New York Times to read their full interview with Terry Gillilam, where he also disucsses his Monty Python days and the 40th Anniversary of his solo directorial debut, Jabberwocky.