It was about The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and, indeed, the U.S. distribution and partial funding of the film is in the cards. But there may be more than that involvement, it seems.
Talking with The Playlist ahead of the Criterion Collection release of The Fisher King, Gilliam continued to talk about the project which has stuck with him despite many failed starts all these years. “It’s my madness,” he proclaimed with a laugh.
And while past history hasn’t been in its favor, plans at the moment are to shoot in early 2016, with Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) and John Hurt assigned to the lead roles. The film, as part of Amazon’s new deal, will let their upcoming movies have a brief theatrical release before hitting the site about a month later, and this is very interesting to the Brazil filmmaker. He believes this is merely an extension of the home video model, and a fair one.
I’m intrigued by their way of doing it … They go into the cinemas first and then a month or two afterwards they go into streaming. And I think that’s good because you get a chance to see it on the big screen, and yet I know that more people have seen my films on DVD than they have in the cinemas and that’s the reality of life now.
And in this new model, there are apparently “a couple other things” he’s “playing with,” including “a couple old scripts that have been wallowing within the studio system; we got them out, so we’re going to stretch them out.” He talked about how one of his old two-and-a-half-hour movies can now be stretched to a six-or-eight part TV series, and when asked whether or not one of these six to eight part mini-series could be Defective Detective — an old screenplay he and his Fisher King screenwriter Richard LaGravenese wrote decades ago — is a story which could be expanded, he slyly remarked, “It very well could be!”
“Many of my films I’ve had to compress them more than I would have liked. So things like Defective Detective and Quixote, they’ve all been sitting around for quite a long time and to me the trick is a way of invigorating me about them so they still have a life.”
Even though he’s not without his professional speed-bumps, Gilliam remains among the most visually interesting directors working today. Even when he’s retreading himself slightly with his latest effort, last year’s The Zero Theorem. At the very least, I want to see Don Quixote come to life just so Gilliam can finally sleep well at night. And if he can also put together the other projects he’s wanted to make in the form of mini-series, that’s a-okay with me too.