According to Deadline, Johnny Depp has signed on to produce a Don Quixote movie for Disney. The big story is that Terry Gilliam doesn’t seem to be involved. See, back in 2002, Gilliam was the subject of a documentary called Lost in La Mancha, detailing Gilliam’s ultimately doomed production of a film called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam tried to get the project off the ground for years, and at one point, Johnny Depp was attached (that’s him and Gilliam in the banner image, via). Depp later dropped out, and Gilliam went on to make The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, which starred Heath Ledger, who died halfway through shooting and had to be replaced by Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law. Who knows what happened between Depp and Gilliam since then, or whether Gilliam eventually gave up on doing his Quixote movie, but Depp had to know how this was going to look when he signed on. YOU’RE KILLING HIM, JOHNNY OH GOD WHY!
Disney has closed a deal for an untitled pitch to be written by Steve Pink [Hot Tub Time Machine] and Jeff Morris, and produced by Infinitum Nihil’s Johnny Depp and Christi Dembrowski. The project is best described as a modern re-imagining of Don Quixote. Depp has long been intrigued with that character, and at one time was attached to the Quixote film that Terry Gilliam has tried to make.
Hard to know what to make of this, since “a modern re-imagining of Don Quixote” could mean almost anything. A hero living in the past, dedicating his life to outmoded principles of morality and groping after the women in his life through a haze of anachronous social ideals – has anyone called Aaron Sorkin? Sorkin should write himself into this, Adaptation-style.