Terry Gilliam Makes Seventh Attempt at “Don Quixote” Movie

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Gentlemen, start your windmills. Director (and Monty Python member) Terry Gilliam, the filmmaker behind such cult hits as Brazil and Twelve Monkeys, has signed a deal with Amazon Studios to direct The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, an adaptation of the Cervantes novel that will stream on Amazon following a brief theatrical release.

The film, slated to debut in May 2016, marks Gilliam’s seventh attempt to adapt Quixote; previous efforts include an ill-fated version starring Johnny Depp, canned shortly after going into production in 1998. Since then the project has metamorphosed from a time travel-fueled period piece to a modern adaptation. Gilliam told the Wrap, “I keep incorporating my own life into it and shifting it. The basic underlying premise of the version Johnny was involved in was that he actually was going to be transported back to the 17th century, and now it all takes place now, it’s contemporary. It’s more about how movies can damage people.”

John Hurt (Snowpiercer, Midnight Express) has signed on to play Quixote, and Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) will star as Toby, a Hollywood cynic who finds himself on his own quixotic quest — prompted by a run-in with a mysterious gypsy — to track down the Spanish village where he shot his student film.

Of his dream of bringing Quixote to the silver screen, Gilliam says: “It’s obsessive… desperate… pathetic… foolish. It’s this growth, this tumor that’s become part of my system that has to get out if I’m to survive.” For the sake of Gilliam’s sanity and Cervantes fans alike, one hopes that the seventh time will prove to be the charm.

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