It’s almost a shame they’re going to actually make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, as it’s already legendary for being one of those films that never were. In case you don’t know the story, after several years of trying to get it off the ground, the movie finally went into production in 2000, with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort starring. However very quickly a combination of factors, ranging from Rochefort getting seriously ill to a strom wrecking the sets, meant to the whole thing had to be called off (you can find out more about the disaster it became in the documentary Lost In La Mancha).
Gilliam has spent the last decade trying to get the movie going again, and finally has the money and a September start date set. However he has had a bit more difficulty with the cast. Rochefort has been replaced by Robert Duvall in the Don Quixote role, which left Johnny Depp. Although the actor stayed attached to the film over the years, he couldn’t now fit it into his schedule and Gilliam couldn’t wait, so who’s filling the role? Well, Empire bumped in Gilliam in Cannes and asked him, and he revealed it’ll be Ewan McGregor.
While it seems a bit odd to have Ewan stepping into Johnny Depp’s shoes, to be honest, anyone taking over from Depp has big shoes to fill. Gilliam said, “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!”
Ewan will play a 21st Century ad exec who travels back in time to the 17th Century and meets Don Quixote, gettting involved in his adventures.