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Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote gets a trailer

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Finally, we get a trailer for Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. It has taken many years, but it draws ever closer. It seems it will not be debuting at the Cannes Film Festival as originally thought, but I can wait a little bit longer.

Gilliam has spent the past 20 years trying to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote off the ground. The documentary Lost In La Mancha shows just a little bit of the troubles he has gone through over the years.

In 2016, Gilliam was working with producer Paulo Branco. They had a deal that gave Gilliam creative freedom over the project in exchange for the rights to the film. It seems that Branco apparently never provided the necessary funding, and Gilliam went out and found another producer. With a new deal in place, Gilliam finally made the film, with a plan to release Don Quixote this spring. Branco is now saying that since he technically owns the rights to the film, Gilliam can’t release it until he grants permission. Gilliam has countered that the contract with Branco is null and void since Branco never put up the money. Gilliam took Branco to court, but the result of the court case won’t be known until June. More on that here.

The film, scripted by Gilliam together with Tony Grisoni, is a reworking of the Don Quixote story. Toby, a once idealistic young film student who has turned into an arrogant publicist, libidinous and jaded, comes across a copy of his old student film based on Don Quixote. He is horrified by the terrible effects the film has had on the quiet village where it was set.

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.

Gilliam finally got to make the film, which now stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Michael Palin, Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgård and Joana Ribeiro.

Thanks to Ian for sending over the trailer.

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