Most films take only a few months to shoot, but thanks to a string of misfortunes, Terry Gilliam was at it for 17 years to wrap filming on “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”
The “Monty Python” writer shared the news over Facebook on Sunday.
“Sorry for the long silence,” he began. “I’ve been busy packing the truck and am now heading home. After 17 years, we have completed the shoot of THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE.”
A documentary, “Lost in La Mancha,” was released way back in 2002 chronicling Gilliam’s attempts to make the film, which follows an advertising executive who time-travels back and forth between present-day London and 1600s La Mancha, where he meets Spanish author Migel de Cervantes’ obsessively chivalrous Don Quixote.
The project is known for its bad luck. During the first week of filming, in August 2000, flash flooding swept away equipment and changed the color of the natural landscape, making previous footage unusable. The film also faced financial problems.
A number of actors cycled through lead roles as production dragged on, and on. While Jean Rochefort was originally cast as Quixote, the role ultimately went to Jonathan Pryce. The role of the ad exec, called Toby, was once rumored to have gone to Johnny Depp, but Adam Driver will appear in ― fingers crossed ― the finished version.
The movie still has to go through post-production, so it’s not in the clear just yet. Gilliam also still stands accused by the Portuguese government of harming a 12th-century convent while filming in the country. Gilliam has denied the charges, writing on Facebook that he showed respect for the building and “people should begin by getting the facts before howling hysterically.”
But under the auspices of Amazon Studios, the film now has a solid release year, 2018, nearly two decades late.
In the director’s words, QUIXOTE VIVE!