Even with the film finally finished, it seems that the universe still wants to throw bad luck director Terry Gilliam’s way over The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
On Friday, a French judged ruled against Gilliam in the lawsuit brought forward by producer Paulo Branco over the rights to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Branco asserted that he had a claim on the film due to having served as a producer on the project briefly. Gilliam countered that Branco and his production company Alfama Films did not fulfill his end of their contract in that he and the producer parted ways before production began and that Branco had no input, either creatively or financially, in the final product.
A French court did not see things Gilliam’s way and ordered the director to pay Branco 10,000 euros (approximately $11,600) for breach of contract.
Last month, Branco sought an injunction to keep the film from premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and opening in theaters throughout France. That motion was denied by the court, which means Gilliam still holds the rights to distribute the film.
Initially, Amazon had been lined up to distribute the film in the US but dropped out once Branco brought his lawsuit.
A passion project of Gilliam’s that has taken nearly three decades to reach the screen, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Adam Driver as an advertising executive who returns to the Spanish village where he shot his student film, an adaptation of the classic Servantes novel only to find that the actor (Jonathan Pryce) who played Quixote for him now believes he is the fictional knight errant.