For years, Terry Gilliam has wanted to make a Don Quixote movie. And for decades, it’s been in development hell. Except once, it actually went into production. And never came out. This is the story of Terry Gilliam’s impossible dream.
I always thought Gilliam made this documentary himself when production fell apart, but it’s attributed to a couple of other directors. Makes sense, I guess. He’s too busy making weird movies (or at least trying) to make a documentary.
Apparently the title for Gilliam’s movie is The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. I always thought it was going to just be Cervantes’s story with a Gilliam bent, but that title sounds like he intended to at least tell a new frame story. I am unfortunately not familiar enough with Quixote to know how the original story ends, but I expect it’s a classical tragedy. So it might yet not be an original story on Gilliam’s part.
Terry Gilliam made some movies in the 80s. Specifically, he made three movies about dreamers, which Gilliam has come to call the “Trilogy of Imagination.” Three different movies about protagonists of different ages trying to escape the oppressive world around them. I’ve already seen Time Bandits (the dreamer as a child) and Brazil (the dreamer in middle age). Baron Munchausen is an older man going on fanciful adventures that may not exactly be accurate.
I’m not sure how I expect this film to make me feel. Time Bandits was fun and the end was depressing but hopeful, Brazil was a long downward spiral through madness, and Twelve Monkeys was depressing throughout. “Munchausen” looks like some good fun, but I don’t know how much of that is a misrepresentation for marketing purposes.