As police transport two fugitives across the Spanish countryside, they encounter a man dressed in armor (Jonathan Pryce) on a horse in a clip from Terry Gilliam’s decades-in-the-making upcoming film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
“Carnival is over, old man,” one of the cops shouts. When the knight leans over, his face brightens: “Sancho! I am Don Quixote de la Mancha, and I command you to release my squire, Sancho Panza.” The cops make fun of him, as the man Quixote calls Sancho (Adam Driver) ducks in the backseat. “This has nothing to do with me,” says Driver’s character, an advertising filmmaker named Toby. Quixote starts bashing a makeshift jousting rod against the police car, and chaos and confusion ensue.
The film’s plot revolves around Toby, while trying to make a Quixote-themed commercial, running into the actor who previously played Quixote in a student film he’d made. The man still thinks he’s the chivalrous knight slaying windmills in search of his lost love, Dulcinea. Toby subsequently plays sidekick to Quixote, as he tries to return to normal life.
The movie has been more than 25 years in the making — Gilliam first mentioned wanting to make a Quixote movie in 1989 — and its travails were chronicled in the 2000 documentary Lost in La Mancha. Now the film will finally be released in select theaters for one night only on April 10th, via Fathom Events.
In 2014, Rolling Stone asked Gilliam why he persisted with The Man Who Killed Don Quixote after it failed so many times. “Oh, I don’t know, pigheadedness, stupid — I really don’t know anymore,” he said. “I’m beginning to actually think, ‘If it doesn’t work this time, I’m gonna dump it.’ I’ve wasted far too much of my life doing it. If you’re going to do Quixote, you have to become as mad as Quixote.”