There are many famously unmade films, but few are as well-documented as Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The Monty Python star has been trying to make his passion project since 1998, the most successful, erm, unsuccessful attempt being documented in the documentary Lost in La Mancha. Now, the director has revealed that Amazon will stump up cash to shoot the film as part of a deal he signed back in May. According to an interview in Indiewire, the plan is for a theatrical release in the US that'll be followed "a month or two afterwards" by a splashy premiere on Amazon Prime.
The obvious question to ask is why Amazon is putting money on such a famously doomed project? It seems clear that the company enjoys courting filmmakers with a high-standing amongst critics. That can be seen in its recent track record, since it's signed deals with big names like Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Jim Jarmusch in the last six months alone. As far as Gilliam is concerned, it's because the site's studio business is still in its "formative stages" that is, as yet, untouched by a studio-system style bureaucracy.
In addition to getting the funding that he's been seeking, Gilliam believes that he's gaining far more artistic freedom than under the traditional system. When discussing another project, Defective Detective, the director mentioned that his films have had to be "compressed," presumably to meet a cinema-friendly run time. Now, however, Gilliam could produce a mini-series style version of the story that'll satisfy his artistic sensibilities and, hopefully, draw plenty more crowds towards paying for a Prime subscription.
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