May 15, 2009 / 3:24 AM / 10 years ago

Director Gilliam back in saddle for "Quixote"

British director Terry Gilliam arrives for the 2009 BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, in London February 8, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Terry Gilliam may no longer be tilting at windmills. The filmmaker has teamed with Oscar-winning British producer Jeremy Thomas to bring “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” his long-blighted take on the tale of the Spanish knight, to the big screen.

Screenwriter Tony Grisoni (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”) has worked with Gilliam to reimagine the legend, and the script revolves around a filmmaker who is charmed into Quixote’s eternal quest for his lady love, becoming an unwitting Sancho Panza.

The partnership is the latest twist in a moviemaking saga almost as epic as the 17th century classic by Cervantes on which it’s based.

Nine years ago, the original shoot suffered a series of setbacks captured in the documentary “Lost in La Mancha,” which went on to become a cult hit in its own right.

Thomas, in Cannes, described the project as “irresistible,” while Grisoni added that there is no escaping some pacts. “Nearly 10 years on, I find myself lending a hand to get that crazed, giggling bedlamite back in the saddle. I’m talking about Don Quixote. In spite of God and the devil, he shall ride again,” Grisoni said.

The movie is scheduled for a spring shoot. Gilliam’s latest, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” which contains the final screen performance by Heath Ledger, unspools Friday at the Cannes Film Festival.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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