U.S. audiences will finally get the chance to see Terry Gilliam’s long-delayed film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” a passion project that has taken the director nearly two decades to get to the screen.
Screen Media acquired the North American rights to “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” and, barring yet another unforeseen mishap, it is planning a March 2019 theatrical release in partnership with Fathom Events, the company announced Monday.
The film stars Jonathan Pryce as the title character alongside Adam Driver, Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko and Jordi Mollà. Driver plays a frustrated filmmaker and disillusioned advertising executive who becomes pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler (Pryce) who believes he is Don Quixote mistakes Toby for his trusted squire Sancho Panza. Pulled further into the cobbler’s world, Toby gradually becomes unable to tell his dreams from reality.
“Terry Gilliam is a true auteur and his latest film does not disappoint. It is the perfect pairing of a film with a filmmaker, the story of Don Quixote, a man who believes in things that seemingly no one else believes in, until finally, they share his vision,” David Fannon, President of Screen Media, said in a statement. “Screen Media is thrilled that U.S. audiences will finally get to see Terry Gilliam’s quest.”
Despite a legal battle in a French court that nearly blocked the completed film from screening, Gilliam’s project finally made its premiere as the closing night film at this year’s Cannes film festival in May. But even before it screened, Amazon Studios dropped its planned U.S. distribution of the film.
Gilliam then lost a legal battle when a French court ruled that he would have to pay €10,000 ($11,600) to Paulo Branco, a former producer on the movie who sued the “Monty Python” co-creator for breach of contract. Branco also sought an injunction to prevent “Don Quixote” from being released and from premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, though he was denied that request. That series of events opened up Gilliam to distribute the film.
This is all just the cherry on top of what has historically been one of the most plagued film productions ever, dating all the way back to the late ’90s and including everything from on-set injuries, flash floods, cast changes and even more lawsuits. You can read all about the film’s storied production history here.
Directed and written by Gilliam, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is co-written by Tony Grisoni and produced by Mariela Besuievsky, Amy Gilliam, Gerardo Herrero and Gregoire Melin.
The deal was negotiated by Seth Needle, SVP of Worldwide Acquisitions at Screen Media, with the filmmakers.