After nearly two decades of financial troubles, casting issues and myriad other delays for Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the film’s first trailer has arrived.
Gilliam’s infamously “cursed” take on Miguel de Cervantes’ epic novel, Don Quixote, stars Adam Driver as a marketing executive, Toby, who meets a man (Jonathan Pryce) who believes he is La Mancha’s defender of chivalry, Don Quixote. This Quixote mistakes Toby for his squire, Sancho Panza, and together, the pair embark on a surreal journey that jumps between the 21st and 17th centuries.
The new international trailer for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is packed with dramatic battles (against both humans and windmills), elaborate costumes and plenty of hyper-meta references. Gilliam’s cheeky humor shines as well, like when Quixote laughs off Toby’s request to read his book. “A peasant like you, cannot read,” Quixote chuckles. “I’ll sound the words and you can look at the pictures.”
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote also stars Stellan Skarsgård and Olga Kurylenko. The film is expected to debut at Cannes this year – though an ongoing legal battle may further delay its release.
Gilliam first tried to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in the late-1990s, casting Johnny Depp as Toby and Jean Rochefort as Quixote. A variety of mishaps derailed the production, which was chronicled in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha. Over the next decade, Gilliam made numerous attempts to revive the film before finally beginning production last spring.
In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Gilliam talked about why he kept going back to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, saying, “Oh, I don’t know, pigheadedness, stupid – I really don’t know anymore. I’m beginning to actually think, ‘If it his doesn’t work this time, I’m gonna dump it.’ I’ve wasted far too much of my life doing it. If you’re going to do Quixote, you have to become as mad as Quixote.”