Billy Ray, whose credits include ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Captain Phillips,’ is writing the script.
The studio is developing an adaptation of the classic Spanish novel about a man who believes he is a knight, with Gordon Gray and Billy Ray producing. Ray, whose credits include The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips, is also writing the script.
Written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and first published in 1605, the story told of a lower-class aristocrat named Alanso Quixano who, after reading too many novels about chivalry, loses his sanity and comes to believe that knights, maidens and dragons really exist.
Making a portly neighbor his squire, the man refashions himself a knight named Don Quixote and sets off on a quest for adventure. Innkeepers become lords, windmills become dragons and peasant girls become ladies-in-waiting to him as he and his servant find themselves in situations that are often comical, disastrous and violent.
Sources say the plan is to adapt the work in a tone the recalls the madcap and fantastical nature of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which took a popular Disney theme park ride and married supernatural fantasy elements, creating a billion-dollar franchise in the process.
Gray has a long history with Disney, making his name as a producer on inspirational sports dramas ranging from 2002’s The Rookie to 2006’s Invincible to the recent McFarland USA and Million Dollar Arm.
Ray was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Captain Phillips. Among his other credits are Shattered Glass and Flightplan, the thriller that starred Jodie Foster.