A movie that became one of the most legendary “doomed projects” in Hollywood history has wrapped production after a 17-year struggle by director Terry Gilliam to get the project made. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the curse that has hovered over “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” has yet to fully lift.
Gilliam wrapped principal photography on the movie, 17 years after he first started pre-production, THR reports. Along the way, a lineup that includes Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Robert Duvall and John Hurt has been attached to the project at various stages, with each attempt resulting in failure.
The movie’s tortured saga became the focus of the 2002 documentary “Lost in La Mancha,” which captured footage of Gilliam’s first attempt to make the movie back in 2000. Intended as a “making of” companion piece to “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” “Lost in La Mancha” instead became a compelling account of everything that can go wrong when trying to get a movie made — including flash floods during a location shoot and an injury to one of the movie’s stars, not to mention NATO target practice taking place adjacent to the filming location.
THR notes that the project still faces a possible legal battle.
“In Cannes, just a year after the project was first unveiled to the market, French sales banner Alfama labeled the film ‘illegal,’ with its CEO Paulo Branco telling The Hollywood Reporter that Gilliam had been working behind his back and that he — actually — had rights to the film,” THR reports. “In response, the film’s producers issued a statement asserting that Branco’s claims were ‘preposterous’ and that they had been forced to sue him in four countries. ‘Senor Branco is tilting at windmills,’ they added. ‘He has no rights whatsoever in Don Quixote.'”
The movie, which stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard and Olga Kurylenko, filmed on location in Spain and Portugal.
In a release announcing the wrap of production, Gilliam said: “Don Quixote is a dreamer, an idealist and a romantic, determined not to accept the limitations of reality, marching on regardless of setbacks, as we have done. We’ve been at it so long that the idea of actually finishing shooting this ‘clandestine’ film is pretty surreal. Any sensible person would have given up years ago but sometimes pig-headed dreamers win in the end, so thank you to all of the ill-paid fantasists and believers who have joined to make this longstanding dream a reality!’’