God Hates Terry Gilliam and His Don Quixote Film
Terry Gilliam has been trying to get his vision of Don Quixote off the ground for damn near 20 years, but someone's been working just as hard to stop him: the universe. Filming for the movie, which would have featured a modern-day man (Johnny Depp) being sent back in time and mistaken by Quixote for Sancho Panza, began in 1999 and immediately went to shit when they realized the dialogue was drowned out by the planes from a nearby military base. OK, that's fixable in post-production. The flash flood that destroyed the set the very next day would be a little more challenging, though.
"We'll resume filming once those clouds spelling 'FUCK YOU TG' dissipate."
Still, Gilliam wasn't forced to admit that God is personally offended by his movie until Don Quixote himself, Jean Rochefort, was incapacitated by a herniated disc and unable to continue filming. The resulting insurance claim -- one of the most expensive in film history -- tied up the rights to the film for about 10 years. In the meantime, Gilliam started shooting another movie with Heath Ledger ... which, as you may have heard, didn't go so well.
Sony Pictures Classics
"You try going from The Joker to these jokers and see how that shit turns out."
Even then, Gilliam still hadn't learned his lesson -- as soon as the Don Quixote rights were released, he laughed in the face of fate and paid for it with a series of false starts, as every reworking of the project lingered in cinematic limbo. By now, in its amazing seventh incarnation, some compromises have been made: instead of Depp, the movie now stars some kid who was in 300 2, and rather than the fantastical time-traveling adventure of Gilliam's dreams, he's settled for mere air travel. The film now revolves around the protagonist's trip to Spain to find the village where a film within the film was filmed.
How long until Gilliam gives up and just does this movie with cardboard cutouts, Monty Python-style?
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And while we're on the topic, check out 6 Upcoming Movies That Are Completely Doomed for such films as the no-budget Jem reboot.