Terry Gilliam has made numerous attempts to adapt Miguel de Cervantes‘ Don Quixote into a film for the last 20 years. There were a total of eight attempts, and each ended in some sort of failure due to budgets, weather, or in some cases noise pollution. But now Gilliam can finally bring his passion project to life. And there is the first look at the film.
A new trailer has just dropped giving us an idea of a contemporary adaptation of the novel. In it, we see Adam Driver, playing Toby Grisoni, an ad exec who has taken on the role of Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s faithful squire; and Jonathan Pryce as Don Quixote, an old man convinced he is the famous literature character.
Now, there is talk that this film may not be released. However, the trailer suggests that this is at least one step forward in the right direction. Remember, Gilliam has tried to get this film off the ground many times. And in between all of them the project has been in development hell. The fact that it has reached this point suggests, at least, we are that much closer to seeing the film.
Now, the trailer has some of the novel’s charms: Quixote dresses like a knight, the attack on the windmill, etc. I vaguely remember reading the novel. But if this does get released, I guess it would be a good time to reread it. But the look, style, and camera choices feel a lot like Gilliam. And the out of this world setting with two eras colliding feels just so very strange. I wonder how long Toby can keep up this charade.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote tells the story of a deluded old man who is convinced he is Don Quixote, and who mistakes Toby, an advertising executive, for his trusty squire, Sancho Panza. The pair embark on a bizarre journey, jumping back and forth in time between the 21st and magical 17th century. Gradually, like the infamous knight himself, Toby becomes consumed by the illusory world and unable to determine his dreams from reality. The tale culminates in a phantasmagorical and emotional finale where Toby takes on the mantle of Don Quixote de la Mancha.
No word yet if the film will actually hit theaters stateside, but it will make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival.