American audiences looking forward to streaming Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” on Amazon will have to make other plans. According to a source with knowledge of the production, Amazon Studios is no longer handling the domestic release.
Amazon Studios committed significant financing to the feature, which draws inspiration from Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes’ two-part novel, “Don Quixote,” published in 1605 and 1615. Gilliam wrapped production on June 17, 2017, nearly 20 years after he began his first attempt at the infamously troubled project. Its cursed reputation was again referenced with Tuesday’s reports that 77-year-old Gilliam is now recovering from a weekend stroke.
According to The Telegraph, in early 2016, producer Paulo Branco pledged €16 million (almost $22 million) to help Gilliam finish his magnum opus. Gilliam’s lawyer, Benjamin Sarfati, contends that in the end, “untrustworthy” Branco “didn’t have the money;” producer and director parted ways before “Quixote” finally began shooting.
Terry Gilliam signed a deal with Amazon Studios back at Cannes 2015, the same time that Jim Jarmusch made the deal that led to “Paterson” in 2016. Less than three weeks ago, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” starring Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver was announced as the Cannes 2018 closing-night showpiece. But Branco says he owns the rights to the film; a Paris District Court is expected to decide Wednesday whether the film can premiere on the Croisette.
In 2015, Gilliam spoke to The Playlist about the company: “Amazon and the like are interesting because they are all still in their formative stages,” he said. “They’re not a bureaucracy that has been around for years like the studio system, and so they’re full of people that are open to new and fresh ideas. So it’s a good time to be working with people like that.”
A source for Amazon declined comment.
Gilliam declared his delight with the film in May 2 Facebook video. At the end, he proclaims, “I will be back.”