Lost in Mancha

When Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe went to Spain in 2000 to film director Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) on the set of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, they never expected the catalog of disasters that would force independent investors to shut down the $32 million film after only six days.

Johnny Depp soldiers on as a time-traveling ad exec who serves as squire to the aging Quixote, played by Jean Rochefort, a French actor whose difficulty speaking English is rivaled only by problems with his prostate. Then there's the flash floods and the NATO planes spoiling take after take. Fulton and Pepe have created an extraordinary document. Hilarious and heartbreaking, it's a cautionary fable of the impossible dream of holding to a vision on film (Gilliam is a visionary who always thinks outside the box) while Hollywood holds the bottom line.

From The Archives Issue 257: January 26, 1978