In the vein of their largely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney is jumping into another period action-adventure film: DON QUIXOTE. Based on the classic 1605 novel by Miguel de Cervantes, the Mouse House has tapped Billy Ray to write the screenplay and produce alongside Gordon Gray.
The original story follows a Spanish hidalgo, Alonso Quixano, who ends up reading too many chivalric romance novels, goes insane, and then fancies himself a knight named Don Quixote. Sancho Panza, a farmer, gets recruited as his squire as they set out on an adventure to right wrongs, rescue fair maidens, and fight dragons. It’s considered one of the most famous and influential of Spanish literature works as well as the world at large.
Of course, this is not the only Don Quixote adaptation on the docket. Director Terry Gilliam has been working on his own take, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, for years as a passion project. It was supposed to start production recently but Gilliam delayed the film yet again due to financial reasons. The situation is not unlike that of The Jungle Book, of which Disney’s was released to great fanfare earlier this year, and Andy Serkis’ take is set for a 2018 release.
Gray has worked with Disney several times before this, particularly with the studio’s live-action arm’s sports film. He was a producer on films such as The Rookie, Miracle, Invincible, Million Dollar Arm, and McFarland, USA.
He is repped by WME.
Ray can boast decades of screenplay experience, from Stuart Little to State of Play, The Hunger Games, and Captain Phillips. He’s also working on drafts of several other big projects, including Twilight Zone at Warner Bros. with Leonardo DiCaprio producing.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.