Monty Python alum and demented filmmaking wizard Terry Gilliam has been trying to get his time travel meets classic literature flick The Man Who Killed Don Quixote made for more than a decade now. The hell he suffered the first time he tried was chronicled in the documentary Lost in La Mancha, and the second time he tried he just couldn’t hold on to the money. But the third time might be the charm.
Even though the film—the story of a modern day executive who travels back to 17th century Spain and joins Don Quixote’s adventures—has fallen flat twice now, Gilliam keeps plugging away at the chance to make it. The first time, way back in 2000, the film was plagued by the injury of star Jean Rochefort in the first week of filming and a number of other mishaps. The second time, just last year, he had Robert Duvall lined up to play Quixote and Ewan McGregor set for the executive role, but financing fell through within months.
Now Gilliam says “There’s somebody new come along with a new bit of energy … a person who can get money,” and this mystery benefactor might just make sure the flick gets done this time.
According to Italian news site Altarimini, Gilliam spoke about the film while accepting the Fellini Foundation Prize over the weekend, and went so far as to say the flick could get rolling again as early as next spring. Duvall is apparently still on board, but no word yet on whether McGregor will still be joining him.
But even with that seemingly optimistic declaration, Gilliam himself is quick to caution against putting too much hope into seeing the flick:
“It’s at a very early stage. And I’ve been around this one so often. Because what’s happened is that the business is very superstitious. It’s been around too long, it’s tainted, it’s cursed.”
So what’s Gilliam to do if the curse of Don Quixote comes back to bite him a third time? Well, he’s got another fantasy film all lined up, an adaptation of Paul Auster’s novel Mr. Vertigo that he seems hopeful about:
“This Paul Auster thing—those are Hollywood producers … If we get it together I’ll probably do it.”
So, one way or another it looks like Gilliam has a new movie on the way. We’d love to see both, but it seems much more fun to root for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Who doesn’t love a good resurrection?