Gilliam dream alive

Director, Thomas team on Quixotic retelling

Terry Gilliam might no longer be tilting at windmills, teaming with Oscar-winning British producer Jeremy Thomas to bring "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" to the big screen.

The director has hooked up with Thomas to finally bring his long-blighted take on the tale of the Spanish knight to the screen. Writer Tony Grisoni ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas") has worked with Gilliam to reimagine the legend, and the script centers on a filmmaker who is charmed by Quixote's eternal quest for his ladylove, becoming an unwitting Sancho Panza.

The move uniting Gilliam with Thomas ("The Last Emperor") and his Recorded Picture banner is the latest twist in a moviemaking saga almost as epic as the 17th century Cervantes classic on which it is based.

Nine years ago, the original shoot suffered a series of setbacks captured in the documentary "Lost in La Mancha," which went on to become a cult hit.

In Cannes, Thomas described the project as "irresistible," and Grisoni added that there is no escaping some pacts. "Nearly 10 years on, I find myself lending a hand to get that crazed, giggling bedlamite back in the saddle," Grisoni said. "I'm talking about Don Quixote. In spite of God and the devil, he shall ride again."

It is scheduled for a spring 2010 shoot. Gilliam's latest, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," unspools here today. (partialdiff)