Could This Be Our Only Look At Gilliam’s Don Quixote?

Could This Be Our Only Look At Gilliam’s Don Quixote?


Is this trailer all we’ll see of Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’?

Ex-Monty Python member, Terry Gilliam, has directed some strange and wonderful films such as 12 Monkeys, Brazil and Time Bandits.

In September 2000, Terry started production on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which was to star Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort as the titular character.

It wasn’t long before the production was besieged by bad luck. A nearby NATO air force base meant that any dialogue recorded on location was ruined by the near constant jets flying overhead.

A freak bout of heavy rain changed the colour of the barren cliffs on location and washed away filming equipment. Not only did this make all previously shot footage unusable due to continuity reasons, but it transpired the insurance didn’t cover the flood!

Finally, when Rochefort tried to ride the horse for filming, it was obvious to all he was in great pain. A flight back to his doctor in Paris revealed he would be unable to continue filming due to a double herniated disc.

The production was shut down. This event was all documented by an accompanying crew who were originally shooting for a “making of” documentary. The footage was reworked into Lost in La Mancha, a fantastic story of what went happened during this ill-fated attempt to film Don Quixote.

Ever since then Gilliam has been trying to finish this film but has been beset by both legal and financial problems.



In 2016. Gilliam announced the film was heading before the cameras once again with Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver. However, one of the producers, Paulo Branco, failed to deliver his share of the finances needed for the film.

Gilliam managed to find another backer but Branco tried to stop him. The law courts ruled that the film could still go ahead but Branco still owns the rights. By December 2017, Gilliam announced that he had finally managed to complete his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

The film was due to be shown at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival but it has unfortunately reached another legal hurdle.

Branco is once again taking Gilliam to court saying that this new film is illegal. I find it bizarre that a producer who didn’t pay his share of the film budget can obtain so much control.

Today, this first trailer for the film was released on Youtube. For all we know, this may be the only footage we see for a long time.



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.



John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

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