Adapting the famous 1605 novel into a film has been attempted time and time again. Orson Welles dedicated years of his life to producing his version but it was plagued by problems, and despite its 1992 release, to him it was ultimately a failure. “Don Quixote” has garnered a reputation for being the “Macbeth” of film. Gilliam’s first go at the project started back in 2000. Johnny Depp was casted as sidekick Sancho Panza and Jean Rochefort donned the armor of the title character. However, the curse of Don Quixote seemed to follow.
First filming in the dry desert, Bardenas Reales, the set was nearly destroyed by a flash flood and hail. Managing to scavenge and move the film was put on major halt when Rochefort was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a herniated disc. The production was ultimately dropped. A documentary was made about the unlucky production, titled: Lost in La Mancha. It is available for streaming on Netflix. It has been 13 years since then and Gilliam doesn’t seem to be giving up. Best of luck to the man.