It's a wrap for Don Quixote, after 17 years

Terry Gilliam, the United States-born director famous for a string of dark fantasy films, has finally finished his version of Don Quixote.
Terry Gilliam, the United States-born director famous for a string of dark fantasy films, has finally finished his version of Don Quixote.PHOTO: CATHAY

MADRID  • Terry Gilliam, the United States-born director famous for a string of dark fantasy films, has finally finished his version of Don Quixote - after 17 years battling one disaster after another.

"Sorry for the long silence...," he posted laconically on Facebook on Sunday. "After 17 years, we have completed the shoot of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote."

He said he and his crew had just finished shooting in Spain.

It has been a long haul for the director of Brazil (1985) and Twelve Monkeys (1995).

Like the ageing knight at the centre of Miguel de Cervantes' classic tale, Gilliam, now 76, has had to deal with one mishap after another to complete his quest.

His first tilt at adapting the 17th-century novel was with American star Johnny Depp and French actors Jean Rochefort and Vanessa Paradis.

That came to grief in 2000, hit by a string of setbacks that included torrential rain and constant flyovers by military jets from a nearby Nato base.

To top it all, Rochefort, whose role as Quixote required riding a horse, developed back problems that put him out of action.

The new version features British actor Jonathan Pryce as Quixote. He starred in Brazil, but is perhaps better known to younger viewers as High Sparrow in the Game Of Thrones television series.

Also on board are US actor Adam Driver, the villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), and Ukraine-born French actress Olga Kurylenko (Quantum Of Solace, 2008).

"Shooting my version of Don Quixote is a medical obligation," Gilliam told Spanish daily El Pais last year. "It's a brain tumour I have to eradicate."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2017, with the headline 'It's a wrap for Don Quixote, after 17 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe