The rights to a film that took him decades to make have been taken away from director Terry Gilliam by an appeals court in France. AV News reports that the French court reversed an earlier decision rejecting a claim by producer Paulo Branco to the rights to “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”
Branco’s claim stems from a decision between Gilliam and Branco in 2016 during a previous attempt to get the movie made.
“Branco’s funding fell through, prompting Gilliam to find new investors, but Branco still believed that he deserved ownership of the film,” AV News reports. “Now, a French appeals court has reversed the earlier decision and ruled in Branco’s favor, giving him the rights to ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ and declaring that Gilliam must pay his production company about $11,000 to cover the cost of the appeal.”
The report adds: “Branco now tells Screen Daily that he’s going to be ‘seeking damages with interest’ from everyone who had ‘produced and exploited the film’ without his approval. He also says this ruling means everything done with the film up until now — including its production and any screenings — have been ‘completely illegal.’”
After a court ruled in Gilliam’s favor back in May, Gilliam said Branco’s efforts to seize control of the movie were “laughable, absurd,” adding that Branco was “trying to make as much money as he possibly can from a film he did not produce.”
The movie has already had a premiere at Cannes and has reportedly had regular screenings in French theaters.
Gilliam began working on a film version of the Don Quixote story way back in 1989, with the original failed attempt to make the movie captured in the documentary “Lost in La Mancha” — a project that was intended as a “making of” about the movie but instead became a more interesting testament to everything that can go wrong in a film’s production.