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Pandora: Don Quixote rides again, says delighted Gilliam

By Alica-Azania Jarvis
Monday, 4 August 2008

Gilliam: A series of disasters capsized the original production

Gilliam: A series of disasters capsized the original production

Ever since Johnny Depp and Terry Gilliam were forced to abandon filming on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, eight years ago, fans have speculated about the project's recovery.

Last week they were given hope when rumours of a revival surfaced.

Now Gilliam tells me the resurrection could be closer than we think.

"As far as we're concerned, it's on," he confirms. "When Johnny's ready, we're ready. We're just talking about dates to film. Basically it all depends on his schedule but otherwise we're set. It will be next year some time, before next summer anyway."

Filming first began way back in 2000 but was blighted by an eerie sequence of accidents. Military fly-overs drowned out the dialogue, flash floods washed away the set, and then one of the film's stars, the French actor Jean Rochefort, was taken ill, having to be airlifted to hospital after suffering a hernia. Insurers decided to pull the plug, making it one of the most costly – not to say notorious – cinematic projects of all time.

In spite of a recent legal decision to award Gilliam rights to the script, he has decided to start the project afresh.

"We're going to completely reshoot it," he says. "The intervening years have taught me that I can actually write a much better film. I'm so excited it's going to get done at last."

Forget Jay-Z. Call K-PAX

Who do stars call when they need to sound cool? Pharrell Williams? Or maybe Mark Ronson? Er, no – it's Kevin Spacey. Or so says actor and director Nick Moran, who tells me the Hollywood heavyweight was quite the pop aficionado.

"He's the coolest guy I know. He stays on top of everything. If there's a new band or a new film around, he knows about it before everyone else. It's the same with art. He's one of those people who is never behind the times. He's always on the cutting edge."

Hurt: soap won't wash

When Sir Ian McKellen joined the cast of Coronation Street, he began a trend among Britain's thespocracy. Soon, Sirs Derek Jacobi and Anthony Hopkins were airing their ambition to star in the soap.

Sadly the same can't be said of John Hurt, who told me at Somerset House's screening of his latest film, Hellboy II, that he simply couldn't fathom the move.

"Simon Callow wants to be in Sex And The City and Derek Jacobi wants to be in Coronation Street – I can't understand it!" he lamented.

"I have no plans like that, and doubt I ever will. EastEnders just isn't for me."

Blair in cyberspace

Lest we forget, Tony Blair would once again like to remind us that he is without doubt the coolest politician on the block – by setting up a myspace site for his global Faith Foundation. When Pandora first logged on, the results were far from impressive: Only 200 friends, Tony? But it's the internet! Several hours later, and that number has rocketed to nearly 1,000. To use industry parlance, it would seem Tony's page has been "pimped".

Do try to get it right

Meanwhile, at No 10 things aren't going so smoothly. One would be forgiven for thinking – given the furore surrounding Barack Obama's visit to London – that Downing Street might be able to get the presidential candidate's name right. Alas, not so. In an apparent attempt to bask in Obama's reflected glory, the Prime Minister's office dispatched a snazzy e-bulletin detailing the meeting of the two leaders. The subject line? "Barak Obama comes to No 10." Doh!

Slim, shaded – too cool to comment

Never one to dress down, Prince Charles' glad rags have attracted particular admiration of late. At last week's polo he cut a cool figure in a linen suit and a pair of what looked suspiciously like Kate Moss' favourite Ray-Ban Wayfarers. He's since been spotted out and about in Suffolk looking similarly dapper.

What can the explanation be? Has the Camilla hired His Royal Highness a stylist? Or has he simply been paying more attention to GQ?

Clarence House remains coy. "I'm afraid we tend not to comment on these things," says a spokeswoman. "Though he has been receiving praise. Perhaps it's simply a change in taste."

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Craziness seems to have affected Gilliam throughout his career. Look at Heath Ledger's death. Though ironically, and not forgetting cruelly, Ledger's death may have given Gilliam more confidence, since it has solidified his latest film and given it just the sort of exposure he needs to finally get Quixote done.

Posted by Afzal | 07.08.08, 00:04 GMT

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Curious is Christopher Eccleston going to be appearing in this one?
I know he was supposed to play in the one eight years ago. I hope so!

Posted by | 06.08.08, 16:32 GMT

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Even while reading Don Quixote, it has struck me that it was a story begging to be filmed by Terry Gilliam, and it was obvious from the documentary that Gilliam was on the right track last time. I am absolutely delighted he's being allowed to give it another go.

Posted by Andrew Forbes | 05.08.08, 12:24 GMT

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According to The Omniverse Almanac, Johnny Depp is one of the few good guys inhabiting this planet, along with Will Smith, Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake, The Dalai Lama,...

Check out The Omniverse Almanac on Google Search.

Posted by Almanac | 04.08.08, 12:29 GMT

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