Now though it’s back on track, with Screen Daily reporting that Adam Driver and Michael Palin are now set to star in the movie. Driver is taking over the role that was originally going to be played by Johnny Depp, with the likes of Ewan McGregor and Jack O’Connell attached to it over the years. Michael Palin meanwhile will play the title role.
In case you don’t know the story, after several years of trying to get it off the ground, the movie finally went into production in 2000, with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort starring. However very quickly a combination of factors, ranging from Rochefort getting seriously ill to a storm wrecking the sets, meant to the whole thing had to be called off.
Over the years Gilliam has tried on numerous occasions to get it off the ground again, but a range of issues, mainly surrounding financing, means it’s never happened. He’ll be hoping for more luck this time around, to the this revisionist version of Cervantes’ classic tale.
A new synopsis lets us know that: ‘There was a time when Toby was a young film student full of ideals. So he decided to shoot a film adapted from the story of Don Quixote in a pretty Spanish village.
‘But those days are gone and now Toby is an arrogant publicist, libidinous and jaded. Money and glitter have corrupted him, and while he is in Spain where he finishes filming an ad, he has to juggle with his boss’s wife – Jacqui – a calamitous weather, and his own ego. This is when a mysterious gypsy comes to find him with an old copy of his student film: Toby is upset and decides to go in search of a little village where he had made his first work a long time ago. He discovers with horror that his little film has had terrible effects on this quiet place. Angelica, the girl full of innocence, became a high-class call girl; and the old man who played Don Quixote lost his mind, convinced in his delusion of being the real “Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance.”
‘A series of incidents lead to a fire that threatens to destroy the village. Wanted by the police, Toby is “saved” by the old fool who takes him for his faithful squire Sancho, and drives on the roads in search of his perfect wife, Dulcinea.
‘During this journey, Toby will face demons, real and imaginary, modern and medieval. Damsels will be saved, jousts will be completed, and giants will be killed!
Reality and fantasy merge in this strange journey, until a spooky ending.’
The current plan is to start shooting in September.