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Exclusive: Warner Brothers Developing Swashbuckling Don Quixote

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 11, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 11, 2010 |

I know I have absolutely no business liking this idea, especially as Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote is one of my all-time favorite novels, and especially given that the 1500 page book is about to be completely bastardized by the machinations of a big-budget schlocky Hollywood producer but damnit: I can’t help myself. Warner Brothers and producer Joel Silver (Sherlock Holmes, every blockbuster action pic in the 1980s) are fast-tracking a Don Quixote film as an eventual tentpole picture.

And yes: Their intention is clear. They’re going to muck up the original story completely. It’s being described as a Pirates of Caribbean-style swashbuckling version of a story in which we discover that Don Quixote isn’t crazy and that there is, in fact, a fantasy world. Don’z gonna get him some windmill, folks.

After years of struggles and setbacks and even a death, Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote movie is apparently moving ahead (I’ll see it when I believe it), but it’s doubtful that his low-budget version would put up much of a conflict. It might even provide a modicum of exposure. But this will be to Cervantes what Robert Downey’s Sherlock Holmes was to Arthur Conan Doyle. Big, brash, and kind of dumb. Hopefully, it’ll have the same energy, at least. The only difference, of course, is that there’s not a particularly large built-in audience for Quixote (maybe internationally?). But find the right cast, crack the right story (the pitch is out to writers now), and it’s possible to make a fun summmer blockbuster with a modicum of intelligence out of this. I’m not holding my breath, but I will make one small suggestion.

Cast this woman as Dulcinea. She has beautiful peasant written all over her. And if she doesn’t, maybe I can do the writing.


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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