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1605 – Miguel de Cervantes writes the first part of ‘The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha’.
The novel follows an unlikely hero who renames himself Don Quixote, recruits a farmer named Sancho Panza as his squire and decides to wander through Spain as a knight errand.
The story takes place in the region of La Mancha… A clever pun since the word is a synonym for a stain’s in one’s reputation, an appropriate nickname for such an absurd character.
1610 – The second part of Don Quixote is released.
Terry Gilliam wrote The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in the late 1990’s, starring Johnny Depp as a man traveling in time between modern day England and 17th century Spain, mistaken for Sancho Paza.
The production is quickly doomed, plagued by filming problems and by Jean Rochefort‘s health issues, playing the titular character Don Quixote.
Terry Gilliam tried to revive the project in 2008 with Robert Duvall as Don Quixote, until Johnny Depp left the movie.
Soon after the funding collapsed, leaving Terry Gilliam powerless and film-less once again and like the character of his movie: fighting windmills.
Orson Welles worked on his adaptation of Don Quixote, doomed as well.
Conceived as a TV movie, then as theatrical feature, the project will suffer numerous trials and setbacks from the first days of principal photography in 1957 to the last breath of Orson Welles in 1985, who was still working on the film right until his death.
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