It’s been a running joke that Gilliam’s Don Quixote movie has been cursed, and really, it’s hard to argue with it. For the last 20 years, the director has been trying to make this movie a reality, always to be stopped by something drastic. Between natural disasters, injuries on the set, and multiple false starts on shooting, saying the film has had a troubled shoot is putting it mildly.
As such, many were shocked when it finally began filming last year, and today brings our first look at actual footage from the movie in the form of it’s first trailer…Sadly, it’s not that great:
I’m honestly not sure what to think here. The pacing is odd, and the mash-up of footage feels more like a hodge podge of scenes hastily thrown together. It’s hard to discern what’s going on, and the attempts at humor fall completely flat. While this is a first trailer and we can’t judge the entire movie based on it, one would hope that our first look at a film with this sort of legacy would be a bit more impressive.
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.
What’s worse, is that this STILL may be the only footage we see of this movie. While The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was slated to debut at Cannes next month, a new issue has arisen that could prevent it’s release. A former producer, Paulo Branco, has filed a new lawsuit claiming that he has the rights to the film (sold to him at an earlier stage in the film’s cycle) and that Gilliam can’t release the film without his permission. Obviously Gilliam is fighting back, but at this point it could be months or years (maybe even never) before the film is released.
To be honest…I don’t care at this point. There was a time when I would have been over the moon to see this movie, or even just this trailer. After all this time, however, the interest just isn’t there. Maybe if it hits theaters we’ll all be pleasantly surprised. As it stands, all we have is this sub-par trailer to check out.