"Robert Duvall is one of the greats, no question - and he can ride a horse!" laughed Gilliam. "And Ewan has gotten better over the years. He was wonderful in 'The Ghost.' There's a lot of colors to Ewan that he's not been showing recently and it's time for him to show them again. He's got a great sense of humor and he's a wonderful actor."
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Duvall, who has been patiently waiting for months for Gilliam to cast the lead, talked about the film while in New York with "Get Low" for the Tribeca Film Festival.
"It's a different thing from the ill-fated thing of a few years. It's about a guy, a shoemaker in a small village in Spain that they take to play Quixote in a commercial and he really thinks he becomes Quixote and in the end he's humbled and has to go back to being a shoemaker. But the reason (Gilliam) offered me that part, I did that part with Richard Harris, I played that Cuban barber in 'Wrestling Ernest Hemingway' ... He liked what he saw and he offered me the part."
As early as 1999 Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort had been cast in the film, but Rochefort was laid low by a double herniated disc. That and other issues caused the insurance company to pull the plug on financing. All that Gilliam had to show for his efforts was documentary of the epic failure called "Lost in La Mancha." When it finally came to revive "Quixote," Depp's schedule was too busy.
McGregor next co-stars with Jim Carrey in "I Love You Phillip Morris," about a conman who repeatedly escapes jail to be with the man he loves, while Duval will appear alongside Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek in "Get Low," about a crazy old hermit who throws himself a funeral while he's still alive. Both films debut July 30.
Can't wait to see what sends this prodcution of "Quixote" off the rails.