Well, this is surreal.
Terry Gilliam has been working on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for many, many years. Decades, even. An infamously cursed production, the film has fallen apart time and again (its most spectacular flame-out - a version which would have starred Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort - was chronicled in the fantastic and heartbreaking 2003 documentary Lost In La Mancha), and it's repeatedly seemed like Gilliam might never actually succeed in getting the film made.
And now it's finished. There's even a trailer to prove it.
Given how long it's taken for this project to come together, and given that we know this is Terry Gilliam's ultimate passion project, it's admittedly kinda difficult to be objective about the footage we're seeing here. This isn't just another run o' the mill trailer drop. What we're seeing today is honest-to-God film history, hard evidence of Gilliam's Quixote-like sense of perseverance and a huge slap in the face to the concept of giving up on one's dreams. We have no idea if this movie's gonna be any good, but the fact that it exists at all - and that we're finally seeing footage from it! - is legitimately inspiring.
Of course, yesterday we learned that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has suffered yet another setback (this one a complicated legal back-and-forth involving financing and distribution), so there's still an outside chance we're gonna be waiting a little longer to see the film, but let's not dwell on that right now. Today, let's take a moment to acknowledge what an unlikely saga this has been, and how utterly strange it is to see that saga entering what should - one way or another - be its home stretch.
For those unfamiliar with the project, here's an unsually susbstantial synopsis:
"Once upon a time, Toby was an idealistic young film student. His great achievement, a lyrical re-working of the Don Quixote story set in a quaint old Spanish village. But that was then; these days he is a jaded, arrogant and over-sexed commercials director. Money and glamour have derailed him, and now he juggles his boss’s wife Jacqui, a biblical storm and his own ego as he tries to complete a new commercial shoot in Spain. Until a mysterious Gypsy approaches him with an ancient copy of Toby’s student film: Toby is moved and sets off to find the little village where he made his primary opus all those years ago. To Toby’s horror, his little film has had a terrible effect on the sleepy village; Angelica, the young girl who was innocence personified, now works as a high class call-girl, and the old man who played Quixote has now gone completely mad, believing he really is the ‘Knight of the Mournful Countenance’. A series of accidents leads to a fire that threatens to destroy the village. The police come for Toby, but he is ‘rescued’ by the deluded old man, who, mistaking him for his loyal squire Sancho, leads Toby away into the countryside on the quest for his perfect lady, Dulcinea. On their quest, Toby comes face to face with demons, both real and imagined, modern and medieval. Damsels are rescued, jousts are fought, giants are slain and women have beards! Reality and fantasy blur on this bizarre road trip which leads to a phantasmagorical finale."
So, what do you folks think? After all these years, are you in awe to finally be seeing a trailer for this movie? Got any thoughts on the footage itself? Think distribution's gonna get futzed up because of this new legal battle, or think we'll actually get to see this movie before the apocalypse occurs? Sound off in the comments below.
Amazon Studios will handle The Man Who Killed Don Quixote's distribution in the States, but as of now there's no firm release date planned.