"The Man Who Killed Don Quixote": Judge Rules Director Terry Gilliam No Longer Owns Rights To The Film, Former Producer Paulo Branco Does

Gilliam and Jonathan Pryce
I really thought Terry Gilliam's excellent "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" had a happy ending, that is until a judge from the Paris Court of Appeal ruled against the director and in favor of "producer" Paulo Branco, who sued the director over the rights to the film late last year.

Gilliam and ex-producer Branco have been butting heads on the film for a few months now.

Their history together goes a few years back, when they had both reached an agreement on the production of “Quixote.” The deal was simple, Branco would fund the film, give Gilliam creative freedom and reap the benefits.

Those aforementioned benefits never came to Branco, Gilliam found another producer to finance the film, and then the film started production. 

Branco then re-entered the picture and claimed the film could not be released, let alone premiere anywhere, until he was given permission, pointing to the 2016 contract between he and Gilliam. Gilliam says the contract was nullified due to Branco not giving him any funding.
I won't go into great detail about the bad luck and mishaps that have hampered-down Terry Gilliam's passion project "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" for the better part of three decades now. At some point, it seemed like the cursed project, which finished production on June 4th and is now practically completed in the editing room, was on course to be released this year with even a Cannes premiere booked in advance. They most definitely resolved the last setback, John Hurt's death, which was settled with Gilliam regular Jonathan Pryce taking over the role. 

The judge ordered Gilliam to pay Branco’s Alfama Films €10,000 ($11,600).

”The ruling means that the rights to the film belong to Alfama. Any exploitation of the film up until now has been completely illegal and without the authorization of Alfama,” Branco told Screen Daily.

“We will be seeking damages with interest from all the people involved in this illegal production and above all, all those who were complicit in its illegal exploitation. We’re holding everyone responsible.”

“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,” Branco added. “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.”