Depp’s out, McGregor’s in; Don Quixote getting weirder

Don Quixote takes on a Windmill, by G.A. Harker

There’s wackiness afoot behind the scenes of the latest Don Quixote.

Of course, that’s saying a lot, because the movie itself is set to be one wacky bit of screenplay. Writer and director Terry Gilliam—one of the legendary directors of Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail and Timebandits—it’s been described as combining 21st century satire with the classic novel, introducing an advertising executive that finds himself wandering between modern day London and 17th century La Mancha, where he participates in the adventures of Don Quixote.

Unfortunately, the production of this one’s been in a spot of trouble almost from the get-go. Originally set to begin production a decade ago, an injury on set had seen it stalled, then cancelled, only to be revived again last year.

Since then, Robert Duvall has signed on to play the delusional old hero himself, but as a trade-off, the plot seems to be going through a twist as well. The new plot, according to Duvall, will center around a man cast to play Don Quixote in a commercial, who begins to think he really is Don Quixote himself. Whether that is actually the case or not remains to be seen, but given how this one’s been plodding along, anything’s possible at this point.

A stark change of plot isn’t the only on-set twist, however. While Johnny Depp was also originally scheduled for the cast, his upcoming work on Disney’s latest Pirates film seems to have drawn him away, and forced a replacement in the form of Ewan McGregor. Both have their acting merits, so I can’t say yet how it might impact the film. Exactly what role the two of them were/are supposed to be playing, however, remains as yet a mystery.

~ by Chris G. on May 24, 2010.

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