Ewan McGregor Joins Gilliam's Don Quixote

Actor Ewan McGregor
Actor Ewan McGregor

Empire Online have been talking to director Terry Gilliam (TWELFTH MONKEYS, BRAZIL) at the Cannes film festival and it appears Ewan McGregor (STAR WARS, THE ISLAND) has been cast in his latest film, THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE.

DON QUIXOTE is a fantasy/sci-fi film about an advertising executive who, after finding himself unstuck in time, unwittingly travels between modern day London and 17th century La Mancha where he participates in the adventures of Don Quixote. This is Gilliam’s second attempt at making the film; the earlier version started production in 2000 but was halted by the constant noise of overhead fighter jets, the lead actor attaining a torn spine and even a flash flood. The production was a notorious failure for the director and even spawned a documentary on the subject, LOST IN LA MANCHA.
After finishing work on his last film THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS,  however, Gilliam decided to revisit DON QUIXOTE and resumed production on the film in 2009. Robert Duvall (THX, THE ROAD) has replaced Jean Rochefort as the titular QUIXOTE and now Ewan McGregor has been cast as the advertising executive, replacing Johnny Depp (who is probably too busy with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4). Gilliam had this to say of his new cast:

“Robert Duvall is one of the greats, no question – and he can ride a horse! And Ewan has gotten better over the years. He was wonderful in The Ghost. There’s a lot of colours to Ewan that he’s not been showing recently and it’s time for him to show them again. He’s got a great sense of humour and he’s a wonderful actor. He’s wonderfully boyish and can be charming – when he flashes a smile, everybody melts. He wields it like a nuclear bomb!”

Gilliam also stated that the budget of the movie will be around $20 million, a lot less than the $35 million he had to play with way back in 2000. Gilliam has been through so much with this film, and the idea sounds so good, that we should all be praying to the movie gods it finally gets made this time around.

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