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Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Exclusive: And Good Omens Too

04 January 2008  |  Written by Olly Richards  |  Source: Empire

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While chatting with the quite delightful Terry Gilliam recently, Empire asked about the fate of a couple of projects that have long been on his dance card. First of these was The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, his take on Cervantes' novel about the titular Quixote, a man who reads so many fantasy books that he becomes convinced he is a knight errant and sets of for adventure with his righthand man, Sancho Panza.

The film, starring Jean Rochefort as Quixote and Johnny Depp as a man who accidentally goes back in time and is mistaken for Panza, went before cameras but suffered such a disastrous shoot that it was abandoned and became the subject of the documentary Lost In La Mancha. Gilliam says the project should now get going again.

"[Producer] Jeremy Thomas is very close to getting all the pieces of paper signed from all the people who you gotta get signed," Gilliam told us. "He’s been on it for a year now, and he’s come the closest to getting it untangled from the legal swamp it was in. And, um, I don’t see why, I don’t see anythying that’s gonna stop it now. He’s just gotta get all the paperwork done and then I call Mr Depp and see which pirate film he’s still on".

Depp is (we hope) now done with the Pirates movies and could have a space in his schedule, since The Rum Diary and Shantaram both seem to be shelved due to the writers strike. Don Quixote's script is presumably ready to go, since it was shoot-ready before. One man who won't be back is Jean Rochefort. "Physically, he can't do it," says Gilliam. "It's a real tragedy, but he can't. His arse is broken".

So that's good news, aside from the broken arse. But in other good news, Gilliam says there's also a chance that he'll make Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's novel about an angel and demon coming together to prevent the apocalypse.

"I’m the only one who can make it, 'cos that's what Neil and Terry have said. I’m the only one", Gilliam insists. "And I thought with Neil, with Stardust and with Beowulf and there’s another one – an animated film, a Henry Selick thing he’s written [Coraline], I was thinking he’s really hot now, so maybe there’s a chance. I mean it’s such a wonderful book. And I think our script is pretty good, too. We did quite a few changes. We weren’t as respectful as we ought to have been. But Neil’s happy with it!"

Both of these have the potential for awesomeness, so fingers crossed they both happen. Or even just one of them. We're not greedy.

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Your Comments

Neil Gaiman told us that ages ago
You're drastically behind Olly, Neil told us that, also exclusively, at the Stardust premiere. Bwaha ha ha! More

Posted by phaeton at 09:50 on 15 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Oh my God!! How dare they try to move Neverwhere to the States? How will that work? Most of the characters (Angel Islington etc) are named after bloody London stations and areas (Night's Bridge - Kinghtsbridge!!). They cannot move it to the States that would be beyond ridiculous. I'm not a fan of Terry Pratchett but I love Neil Gaimen and love Good Omens so it'll be great to see it onscreen. I wonder who'll play Crawley and Aziraphale? More

Posted by missphoenix at 12:16 on 07 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Don Q will be good, no doubt, but I'm seriously worried about Good Omens.  Even with Gilliam in charge it'll be hard to capture the book and FFS don't cast Russell Brand in it!  In fact, don't cast russell brand in anything!! More

Posted by vicki-leigh at 12:02 on 07 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Its good news, Gilliam usually takes a pounding for his films but one cannot deny his capability as a director.  If Good Omens gets off the ground, and Gilliam is in my opinion one of the few directors who could do Pratchett/Gaiman the justice they deserve, this will hopefully pave the way for more of their works getting silver screen treatment. Only related thing I'm worried about is a big screen reworking of Neverwhere that I heard about, changing the setting to Amercia ofc&nbs More

Posted by dracovir at 10:56 on 07 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Very good news indeed. Gilliam is a superb director and deserves to be able to finish this project. Looking forward to seeing what he can do with a mega-talent like Depp as well. More

Posted by Kazuya at 21:08 on 06 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Cast John Cleese as Don Quixote!!!
Finally, finally it`s gonna happen. Woohoo!!  More

Posted by TheGodfather at 09:38 on 06 January 2008 | Report This Post

Cast John Cleese as Don Quixote!!!
I always thought John Cleese would be the perfect Don Quixote. He's now the right age and has the perfect stature that the role requires. More

Posted by Toursiveu2 at 16:16 on 05 January 2008 | Report This Post

Terry, God has told you not to make Don Quixote!!!
Don't ignore the signs man! Don't become a Jacobian Tragedy Figure for the modern age! And if you do... please put me in it! More

Posted by keyzersaulsie at 15:57 on 05 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Please make it happen, please make it happen....................   Good Omens sounds great, and Don Quixote is a film I was waiting for, heartbroken thinking it would never. Fingers crossed. Let's hope they get made, without interferece(we all know what happened to Brothers Grimm and Brazil). More

Posted by Deviation at 01:07 on 05 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
Not gonna hold my breath for Don Quixote but Good Omens sounds, .....a bit like Preacher or the Prophecy or something else with Angels and Demons in it! I look forward to that one.   And in my humble opinion there was nowt wrong with any of the Pirate's films, it was a very enjoyable trilogy,... it seems some people just like to moan! we all from time to time) More

Posted by lukeyboy at 16:29 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Good Omens?
Not too sure about of these for Good Omens. As ace as Christian Bale is, I can't see who he would fit as. Same goes for Russell Brand (minus the ace part!)   As excited as I am about this, I'm waiting & praying for someone to start making  a big screen version of the Discworld novels. The Hogfather was good on TV but we need something with either Vimes, Rincewind or the Witches in!!! More

Posted by edhockey at 16:14 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

Stranger, it was Gilliam who brought Pirates up, don't blame Empire! And no, the last two Pirates films weren't fun; that was the problem. I'd have forgiven them for being too long, confusing, overloaded with unnecessariy CGI, full of themselves and with a rubbish ending, if only they'd remembered how to be fun like the first movie was. But, hey - each to their own. More

Posted by britesparc at 15:52 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Good Omens?
ndsandals wrote:te]Empire are justified in hoping against a Pirates 4. Look at other Part Fours after the third has been dodgy...w, shame, I was looking forward to Pirates IV: The Quest for Piece's o' 8 Ahem... Anyway, always great to hear that Gilliam still has Quixote on the mind, it's just a real shame that Jean Rochefort won't be able to play the knight errant himself, the footage they actually shot originally was quite wonderful, though you could clearly see Rochefort was in disc More

Posted by kingoftheducks at 15:46 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Good Omens?
Please do not cast Russell Brand as anything...ever More

Posted by simonbrislin at 14:50 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

I know that Christopher Lee has been dying to play Quixot for years. I wonder if he'll be replacing Rochefort after all he's appeared alongside Depp on multiple occasions now. More

Posted by Biggus at 14:49 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Gilliam Says He Will Make Don Quixote
It's great to hear Gilliam still wants to do these movies, but it doesn't sound like there are firm deals in place thus far. I really wish they were though - the ens is meant to be brilliant, according to the novelist himself. More

Posted by Dirty Hartigan at 14:45 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Right, I'm taking a stand Empire!
Pirates 3 was not funny, not good and way to long. The documentary made about Don @#*@(*# is one of the funniest ones i have ever seen, everything that can go wrong goes wrong! Really bizar. More

Posted by jasperoosterveld at 14:40 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Right, I'm taking a stand Empire!
Ah, get a grip. Pirates 3 was a bad film that should have been good. Empire are justified in hoping against a Pirates 4. Look at other Part Fours after the third has been dodgy... As for Gilliam, he is one of the most interesting and varied filmmakers around. These projects could be interesting. More

Posted by swordsandsandals at 14:22 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

Right, I'm taking a stand Empire!
Enough of these snide little comments like "Depp is (we hope) now done with the Pirates movies " and the like. The last two Pirates films were far from perfect, but they were a hell of a lot more fun then most other summer blockbusters to come along in the last few years. Any more of these snotty little Pirate-bashing comments being inserted into barely-related articles, and it'll be pistols at dawn! More

Posted by the ageless stranger at 14:11 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

Good Omens?
I almost forgot he was making that. Please cast Christian Bale and Russell Brand. More

Posted by Lupin 3 at 14:07 on 04 January 2008 | Report This Post

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