We’ve got that recession on you know, so increasingly rare will be the ole Hollywood tales of spectacular production disasters and films that fall apart on set. As scarce cash continues to kneecap most projects long before other morbidly interesting catastrophes can kick, left behind will only be the massive films that canthrow money at any problem. All of this to say: those “movies that never were” type books are going to get increasingly boring over the years. Gilliam’s Quixote film is a perfect example, as a decade ago it was natural disasters and profound bad luck that end up tearing the project apart, where now it’s just the same boring story of financiers farting out over and over.

In any event, Terry Gilliam is definitely keeping the drum beating for the film, and has once again suggested that maybe, just maybe, someone will cough up the cash to get cameras rolling.

“There’s somebody new come along with a new bit of energy… a person who can get money.”

So apparently Terry knows a guy who knows a guy.

The director stipulates that he knows how the project is perceived and that these new financial negotiations are still in early phases,  but I can’t help but wish he’d just wait until someone cuts a real check (and it clears) before publicly stoking these cooling coals once again. It’s just so hard to imagine this project coming together as anything more than a forced, cheap indie that is too constrained to make an impact, whether or not Robert Duvall does a fantastic job (he’s apparently still attached). The anti-climax will be double if the project were to get going but Joel Silver’s blockbuster version of Quixote came together and ultimately relegated Gilliam’s film to sitting on the shelf unfairly looking like one of those rip-off movies they always put out to cash-in on big films.

More interesting to me than windmill tilting though, is word of another project Gilliam has waiting in the wings, one called Mr. Vertigo, which would be an adaptation of a 90s Paul Auster novel. It’s a story that seems up his alley and yet potentially has real money behind it, and Gilliam admits that if it comes together he’ll likely hop on the chance to make something with full backing.

“This Paul Auster thing — those are Hollywood producers… If we get it together I’ll probably do it.”

Mr. Vertigo is a book about a boy turned into a sideshow act because of his ability to levitate, and is steeped in vaudeville and 1920s Americana. It definitely sounds right up Gilliam’s alley (look at the cover), as the story has a very real streak of sadness and tragedy woven amidst the wonder.

My fingers are crossed for Gilliam– I feel the man should be working as often as possible, and I think I’d be as happy to let go of all quixotic hopes for the director if it meant him working on something with a bit of security. I wouldn’t mind his small, creatively questionable efforts like Tideland if they didn’t take years and years to make happen, all for so little return.

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Source | The Playlist