You know how sometimes you get so close to your team winning the playoffs or making a record time driving from your place to your parents’ home for the holidays that almost everything can be perceived to be a kind of jinx? That’s about where we’re at with Terry Gilliam‘s infamously troubled adaptation of Cerventes’ Don Quixote. Gilliam, who has helmed some of the very best films of the 1980s and 90s, first attempted to bring the story of the would-be knight in the late 90s, in a production that was plagued by every trouble you can imagine and that ended with the documentary Lost in La Mancha, starring Johnny Depp and Gilliam. Since then, there have been another half-dozen or so attempts to get the project off the ground, all of which have failed miserably.
Until now? Variety reports today that Gilliam, after reviving the project through a deal with Amazon Studios, has set a start-of-shooting date in October for Don Quixote, and says he hopes to have wrapped production by the end of the year. The new film will star Adam Driver, one of the best actors currently working, as a young filmmaker who returns to an isolated village where he once shot a disastrous adaptation of Don Quixote, only to find the aftermath of the production still plaguing him. Michael Palin will star as an older member of the village community who believes himself to be the titular knight, while Olga Kurylenko is in the mysterious role of the wife of Driver’s character’s boss.
Little else is known about what the film will be about in terms of Gilliam’s usual spectacle, but the cast and the idea of this film finally being able to be seen alone is enough to allow one’s hopes to elevate a little bit. The film will be shot in Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands, so the environs also sound pretty ideal in terms of visuals. Again, let’s not jinx this, but there’s seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for one of the most notoriously cursed projects of the last three decades in cinema. Oh…shit…does that count as a jinx?