Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean, get excited: Disney is developing a live action adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s classic novel, Don Quixote, in the same madcap style.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Billy Ray—writer behind The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips—is working on both the screenplay as well as production, with the help of Gordon Gray (who produced several inspirational sports flicks for Disney). Disney's Don Quixote is expected to be wild, eccentric, and is already poised to spawn a franchise.
Cervantes wrote his legendary novel in two parts, published in 1605 and 1615, and the entire thing is nearly 1,000 pages long. The epic follows Alonso Quixano who, after reading stories about medieval knights, decides to reinvent himself as the chivalrous Don Quixote of La Mancha. He enlists the help of laborer Sancho Panza as his squire and sets off to win the heart of Dulcinea, a peasant whom he imagines to be a princess.
We can imagine the most famous scene (when Don Quixote battles windmills he imagines to be ferocious dragons) would translate very well as a Pirates of the Caribbean-style adventure.
Disney isn’t the first company to eye a remake of the literature classic. Terry Gilliam, the director of Monty Python fame, has been attempting to recreate Don Quixote for the past 20 years in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. He originally planned to cast Johnny Depp, perhaps unsurprisingly, as his protagonist Toby—a young man who returns to the Spanish village where he made an ill-fated student film based on Cervantes’s classic. Gilliam’s film (now starring Adam Driver and Michael Palin) was meant to start shooting this month, but has been delayed yet again.
There’s no word yet if either film will include a rousing chorus of “I, Don Quixote.”
In the meantime, fans of Cervantes can explore sites across Spain on a dedicated Don Quixote tour. Highlights include the Cervantes' tomb in Madrid and the charming village of Esquivias, where he wrote the second half of his Spanish saga.