Director Gilliam lined up Depp in 2000 to star as advertising executive Tony Grisoni in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, but a series of disasters including scheduling conflicts, financial issues and weather-damaged sets delayed production of the oddball epic, prompting the Pirates of the Caribbean actor to bow out.
Gilliam is determined to make sure the film finally goes into production in 2010, and he's hoping the addition of The Godfather star will finally help the project get off the ground.
He says, "Well, it's up, we're getting going again. As Bobby (Duvall) says, we don't have the money, yet. I just think he's phenomenal. I sent him the script, he's so excited by it. If I get Robert Duvall talking as he was on the phone, with that kind of excitement, energy and childish enthusiasm, I thought, 'This is going to be great.' I just think he's extraordinary."