Terry Gilliam's 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' will finally come to UK cinemas in 2020

Tom ButlerSenior Editor
Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in <i>The Man Who Killed Don Quixote</i> (Sparky Pictures)
Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Sparky Pictures)

It’s taken nearly thirty years and countless failed attempts, but Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will finally arrive in UK cinemas on 31 January, 2020.

Sparky Pictures has announced the UK and Irish release date for Terry Gilliam's long-awaited fantasy adventure, co-starring Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, after the film had its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival last year.

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UK audiences can finally experience the film in all its cinematic glory with a special Terry Gilliam Q&A event for one night only on the evening of Thursday 23 January ahead of the film’s general release on Friday 31 January.

Monty Python star Terry Gilliam first signed a deal to make this film – loosely based on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – in 1990 but was unable to find financial backers until 1998 when it was greenlit with Jean Rochefort as Quixote, Johnny Depp as Toby Grisoni, and Vanessa Paradis as the female lead.

Director Terry Gilliam gestures as Jordi Molla, Rossy De Palma, Olga Kurylenko and Stellan Skarsgard look on, at 71st Cannes Film Festival, 2018. (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)
Director Terry Gilliam gestures as Jordi Molla, Rossy De Palma, Olga Kurylenko and Stellan Skarsgard look on, at 71st Cannes Film Festival, 2018. (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

That production was beset will problems and was shut down part way through shooting in 2000. The behind the scenes drama of the beleaguered shoot is the subject of the acclaimed 2002 documentary Lost In La Mancha.

Read more: A history of Gilliam’s cursed Don Quixote movie

Gilliam made repeated attempts to make the film after that with a number of different actors attached including John Hurt who died in 2017. On 4 June, 2017, Gilliam announced that he had finished shooting the film 17 years after it originally started.

Synopsis: THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE is the story of Toby (Driver), a cynical advertising director, who finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoemaker (Pryce) who believes himself to be Don Quixote. 

Olga Kurylenko and Adam Driver in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. (Sparky Pictures)
Olga Kurylenko and Adam Driver in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. (Sparky Pictures)

In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth – a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?

Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will have a special Q&A event screening for one night only on the evening of Thursday 23 January ahead of the film’s general release on Friday 31 January. Expect a new trailer soon.

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