- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

PARIS (AP) - After nearly two decades of problems, Monty Python star Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next week after all.

A last-minute effort to block the film failed Wednesday, as a Paris court ruled in favor of the Cannes festival and rejected a lawsuit by Portuguese producer Paulo Branco.

Branco, who initially worked with Gilliam on the film, claims he also has rights to the movie. Gilliam contests Branco’s claims.

The film will close the festival May 19, after years of production problems, funding issues and legal woes. Starring Adam Driver and Stellan Skarsgard, it is loosely based on the classic novel by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes.

“For more than twenty years this film was almost buried by various obstacles and many have said on various occasions that there was a curse on this movie. Well today this curse is broken thanks to the Justice,” said Gilliam’s lawyer Benjamin Sarfaty, calling it a “great relief” for the ailing director.



The lawyer would not comment on reports that the 77-year-old Gilliam recently suffered a minor stroke, but said, “He will do his best to attend the screening. He is getting ready for it.”

Gilliam commented on Twitter Wednesday: “After days of rest and prayers to the gods I am restored and well again. So is The Man Who Killed Don Quixote!  We are legally victorious! We will go to the ball, dressed as the closing film at Festival de Cannes!”

Cannes, too, welcomed the court decision. “Let’s make this victory a great party,” the festival said in a statement.

Speaking to reporters at Cannes’ film market Wednesday, Branco lashed out at the festival organizers and director Thierry Fremaux for programming the film without his approval. He also questioned why they scheduled the film for the closing of the festival instead of including it with other films in competition.

While Branco failed to block the film from showing at Cannes, he scored a separate victory when Amazon dropped plans to distribute the film.

Meanwhile there is also a broader legal dispute playing out in French courts over the rights to the film. An appeals ruling is expected June 15.

___

Jake Coyle in Cannes contributed.

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