Terry Gilliam Confirms Robert Duvall For ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,’ Nixes Johnny Depp

Early in December, word buzzed around that “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” director Terry Gilliam was eying Robert Duvall to star in his next effort, the long, long-awaited “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” Johnny Depp was set to star in Gilliam’s first ill-fated attempt at telling the tale, and he’s been an on-again, off-again contender to join the cast of the filmmaker’s latest attempt for some time.

Now the director is saying that Depp is definitely out, Duvall is definitely in and another, as-yet-unnamed actor is also in talks to join the cast — no one “A-prime,” as Gilliam says (via The Playlist).

It’s a pretty tiny status update when you get right down to it. “That’s what I’m hoping is next,” Gilliam said of “Quixote.” “I’ve got Robert Duvall, I’ve got another good actor involved, and it’s the old money game that I’m running now. Just trying to put the pieces together, because I don’t have Johnny Depp, which would make it very easy. No A-prime actors.”

I would really like to see Gilliam knock one out of the park. “Parnassus” tends to be overshadowed by the very presence of star Heath Ledger, as it marks his final screen performance. Before that came “The Brothers Grimm” and “Tideland,” and really… the less said about those, the better.

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” starring Depp and Benicio Del Toro was the last time we saw Gilliam in his element… and that was a 1998 release. While that remains one of the very finest literary adaptations I’ve ever seen put to film, the director is due for another scorcher. It’s hard to define “Quixote” as anything less than a passion project, given Gilliam’s history with it. Hopefully, the chance to finally bring that story together will inspire him and reawaken the sort of creative fire that brought incredible works of cinema like “Twelve Monkeys” and “The Fisher King” into the world.

Do you think “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is Gilliam’s best chance in recent years to rival his top efforts? Who could the other actor be, presumably the Sancho Panza to Duvall’s Quixote?