The behind-the-scenes tribulations of Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote are something of a unique phenomenon in movie history: it is one of those films for which the making of may be as thrilling and hectic as the plot itself, if not more.
After 77-year-old Terry Gilliam spent 30 years struggling to wrap up his long-delayed passion project, we thought the imbroglio was resolved when the director’s own take on the classic Spanish novel, starring Adam Driver, finally premiered this year at Cannes Film Festival.
Nevertheless, the surreal saga offered one final twist to the tale, as Gilliam just lost a protracted court battle over the rights to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and has been ordered by the Paris Court of Appeal to pay €10,000 (around £8,750) to his former producer, Paulo Brancho, who was granted full ownership of the film.
“We’re holding everyone responsible” Branco told Screen Daily, “The film’s producers, Kinology, all the others who supported the film, including those who distributed the film in France and the Cannes Film Festival, everyone. The film belongs in its entirety to Alfama. The film was made illegally. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen so many people embark on a mission to produce and exploit a film, without holding the rights. It’s a unique case“.
Quite unique indeed, and cruelly quixotic.