Man Who Killed Don Quixote wins Paris case, loses Amazon Studios
Setbacks and triumphs continue to cloud the release of Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote ahead of the film’s planned May 19 premiere in France. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that a Paris court has ruled in favor of the filmmakers and against the movie’s former producer Paulo Branco of Alfama Films, who was seeking an injunction to stop the film from screening at the Cannes Film Festival and showing in French cinemas. With the Quixote wins in the Branco case, the fest is now free to premiere the film in competition as closing night film as planned. Cannes Film Festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux confirmed as such this morning…
However, Indiewire recently reported (and several other outlets confirmed) that Amazon Studios has pulled out as distributor for the US, Canada and the UK. This comes despite Amazon’s significant investment in the project. Branco just released a statement (via Variety) claiming he “believes” Amazon pulled out because neither sales agent Kinology nor the film’s producer Tornasol Films owned proper rights.
According to Deadline, director Gilliam also apparently suffered a mild health alert and was hospitalized in London, though media reports of a stroke were false. His representatives released the following statement on his behalf:
“Whilst we don’t comment on personal health matters, we can confirm that Terry Gilliam is currently at home preparing for his trip to Cannes next week in support of ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.’”
In other good news for the film, The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Beijing-based Turbo Films has acquired Chinese rights for a wide release later this year.
UPDATE: Mr. Gilliam posted this message to his fans on Facebook…
A classic tale of fantasy and adventure inspired by the legendary protagonist of Miguel De Cervantes’ literary classic Don Quixote, the project is directed by highly-acclaimed filmmaker Terry Gilliam (The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, Brazil, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and features a cast that includes Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Paterson, Silence), previous Gilliam collaborator Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean films, The Brothers Grimm, Brazil, Tomorrow Never Dies) as Don Quixote, Stellan Skarsgård (Our Kind of Traitor, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Good Will Hunting), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion, To the Wonder), Joana Ribeiro (Portugal Não Está à Venda, A Uma Hora Incerta), Óscar Jaenada (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Cold Light of Day), Jordi Mollà (Criminal, In the Heart of the Sea), Sergi Lopez (Pan’s Labyrinth, Dirty Pretty Things, With a Friend Like Harry) and Rossy de Palma (Julieta, The Flower of my Secret, Three Many Weddings).
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote tells the story of a deluded old man who is convinced he is Don Quixote, and who mistakes Toby, an advertising executive, for his trusty squire, Sancho Panza. The pair embark on a bizarre journey, jumping back and forth in time between the 21st and magical 17th century. Gradually, like the infamous knight himself, Toby becomes consumed by the illusory world and unable to determine his dreams from reality. The tale culminates in a phantasmagorical and emotional finale where Toby takes on the mantle of Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Gilliam penned the screenplay with Tony Grisoni, with whom he previously collaborated on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland and The Brothers Grimm. Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky, Amy Gilliam, Tornasol Films, Kinology, Recorded Picture Company, Entre Chien et Loup and Ukbar Filmes in association with Alacran Pictures, are producing with the participation of TVE, Movistar +, Eurimages and Wallimage.