Terry Gilliam's 'Don Quixote' Passion Project Stumbles Again

Terry Gilliam-36th American Film Festival-Deauville France-2010
Francois Durand/Getty Images

"I will be dead before the film is," joked the director after admitting that the shoot date for 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' has been pushed back because of financing issues.

Thank heaven Terry Gilliam has a sense of humor.

The director and legendary Monty Python member has revealed that his famously beleaguered passion project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film that finally looked like it was moving forward after seven failed attempts over almost two decades (one of which became the subject of a documentary), has been delayed just days before production was set to begin.

Gilliam was in Cannes earlier this year to unveil Olga Kurylenko, Adam Driver and Michael Palin as stars in the latest attempt to give the comedy-drama a new lease of life, with Paris-based Alfama producing and handling international sales.

But speaking to BBC radio, the filmmaker confirmed that the starting date — which was supposed to be Monday — had been pushed back. Reps for the producers later confirmed the delay to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I had this producer, a Portuguese chap, who claimed he’d get all the money together in time. And a few weeks ago, he proved that he didn’t have the money," Gilliam said, but added that he was still "marching forward" and that the film wasn't dead. 

"I will be dead before the film is," he joked.

In Cannes, Gilliam said he hoped to bring the pic — in which Driver is set to play an advertising exec who Palin's Don Quixote believes is Sancho Panza — to the festival next year.

An early incarnation of the project starred Johnny Depp as Quixote. That version had begun shooting before natural and financial disasters forced Gilliam to halt production. The unraveling of the film is chronicled in the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha.