Cannes Confirms ‘Don Quixote’ for Closing Night, Praises Court Win: ‘Cinema Has Regained Its Rights’

On Wednesday, a judge dismissed a producer’s bid to stop the film from screening at the festival

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Screen Media

Organizers for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival have confirmed that Terry Gilliam’s film, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” will screen during the festival’s closing night on May 19 — and praised the Paris court decision allowing it to happen.

“Since Tuesday, cinema has regained its rights,” organizers said in a statement. “The Festival is a unique forum for freedom of expression. It will remain so.”

Hours after Amazon Studios dropped “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” a French court decided on Wednesday to dismiss a producer’s bid to stop the film from screening at Cannes.

“The Festival de Cannes, which throughout the case has repeatedly expressed its loyalty and support for the creators, is pleased to see that justice will allow the presentation of this work, whose director surely deserves to see it finally presented to the public,” the statement said.

Gilliam has been trying to make the film for decades with several failed attempts. Producer Paulo Branco, who was attached to “Don Quixote” but left after preproduction disputes, sought to block the Cannes closing-night screening. His lawyer issued a statement claiming that Gilliam needs Branco’s permission to screen the film.

“We are very pleased that this unique — and in some ways agonizing — work in the career of the great director Terry Gilliam will be unveiled for the first time to journalists, festival-goers and professionals from around the world, gathered together in the Grand Ampitheatre Lumiere,” added the statement.

The Festival has stood by the film in the past, saying, “The trouble were caused on this last occasion by the actions of a producer who has shown his true colours once and for all during this episode and who has threatened us, via his lawyer, with a ‘humiliating defeat.’”

Amazon Studios on Wednesday pulled out of its deal to distribute Gilliam’s film in North America because of producers’ failure to deliver it, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The distributor had been an eyeing a fall release.

The film stars Driver as a 21st-century marketing executive named Toby who toggles between modern times and 17th-century Spain, where Don Quixote (Pryce) mistakes him for his trusted squire, Sancho Panza.

Like Quixote, Toby becomes consumed by the illusory world and unable to distinguish his dreams from reality. The tale culminates in a phantasmagorical finale where Toby takes on the mantle of Don Quixote de la Mancha.