Cannes is turning out to be very busy for Adam Driver. He's on hand to promote his role in Paterson, the latest film by Jim Jarmusch. Yesterday he replaced Michael Shannon in Steven Soderbergh's comeback film, Logan Lucky. And now he's joining Terry Gilliam's forever-developing passion project, The Man who Killed Don Quixote.
The news was broken first by Flickreel then seconded by ScreenDaily, with both outlets reporting that Driver will be joined by Gilliam's fellow Monty Python member, Michael Palin, who will take the title role. They'll be replacing Jack O'Connell and John Hurt, who had been most recently attached. This is long after the previous incarnation that would have starred Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp, but that version had an epically doomed production production, chronicled in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha.
Driver plays a character named Toby, a former film student turned arrogant publicist who makes a fascinating discovery about the Don Quixote student film he once made. Here's the synopsis:
"There was a time when Toby was a young film student full of ideals. So he decided to shoot a film adapted from the story ofDon Quixote in a pretty Spanish village."
"But those days are gone and now Toby is an arrogant publicist, libidinous and jaded. Money and glitter have corrupted him, and while he is in Spain where he finishes filming an ad, he has to juggle with his boss’s wife – Jacqui – a calamitous weather, and his own ego. This is when a mysterious gypsy comes to find him with an old copy of his student film: Toby is upset and decides to go in search of a little village where he had made his first work a long time ago. He discovers with horror that his little film has had terrible effects on this quiet place. Angelica, the girl full of innocence, became a high-class call girl; and the old man who played Don Quixote lost his mind, convinced in his delusion of being the real “Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance.”
"A series of incidents lead to a fire that threatens to destroy the village. Wanted by the police, Toby is “saved” by the old fool who takes him for his faithful squire Sancho, and drives on the roads in search of his perfect wife, Dulcinea."
"During this journey, Toby will face demons, real and imaginary, modern and medieval. Damsels will be saved, jousts will be completed, and giants will be killed!"
"Reality and fantasy merge in this strange journey, until a spooky ending.""
Shooting could begin this fall and maybe, just maybe, Gilliam will get it finished this time. Hopefully the wait will have been worth it.