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French court defies fate, clears The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for Cannes premiere

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Just because Terry Gilliam finally finished The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and just because a trailer exists, doesn’t mean that the cosmic forces that have seemingly been conspiring against the film for the past couple of decades are done just yet. For the moment, however, things look good: One major barrier was lifted earlier today, when a French court threw out producer Paulo Branco’s request to stop the film’s premiere at Cannes, as Variety reports.

In his claim, Branco says that Gilliam breached an agreement the two signed in 2016, in which Gilliam granted Branco rights to an earlier attempt to finish the film. When funding fell through on that particular iteration of the project, Gilliam found new investors and finished The Man Who Killed Don Quixote without Branco, who now wants what he says is his share of the profits. Cannes has stuck by Gilliam, dismissing Branco as a troublemaker in search of a quick buck; Gilliam agreed last week in an interview with AFP, saying, “His demands are laughable, absurd. He is trying to make as much money as he possibly can from a film he did not produce.” Now the courts agree as well, and the film’s world premiere has been given the green light to proceed as planned on May 19.


That is, unless one of the many other factors currently at play interferes in the meantime. There’s Amazon Studios, which yesterday was “poised to pull out” as the film’s U.S. distributor pending today’s court decision. And then there’s Gilliam himself, who was hospitalized over the weekend with a minor stroke and who ruffled feathers by saying some extremely misguided shit about the #MeToo movement back in March. So, as long as Gilliam can remain alive, keep his mouth shut, and smooth things over with Amazon, we’ve got 10 days until The Man Who Killed Don Quixote premieres on closing night of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, concluding Gilliam’s string of bad luck and/or creating a black hole that will suck up the Croisette and, eventually, existence as we know it as it does so.

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