Cannes: China's Turbo Films Acquires Terry Gilliam's 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote' (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Tornasol Films
'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'

The decades-in-the-making passion project stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce and Olga Kurylenko.

Beijing-based Turbo Films has acquired Chinese rights to Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the closing film of this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Turbo Films plans to give the title a wide theatrical release in China sometime later this year. Turbo acquired Quixote from French sales outfit Kinology. The deal was negotiated on the Chinese side by Annie Fung, Turbo's acquisitions manager.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is Turbo's largest acquisition to date. Launched in 2010, the company specializes in the import and release of international independent titles in China. Some of its previous China releases include Russian sci-fi films Salyut 7 (Jan. 2018, $2.7 million) and Guardians (2017, $2.9 million).

A decades-in-the-making passion project for Gilliam, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce and Olga Kurylenko. A surrealist take on the Cervantes classic, the film follows Toby, a disillusioned advertising executive, who becomes pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He then gradually becomes unable to distinguish dreams from reality.

The project, which is backed by Amazon Studios, remains entangled in a bitter legal dispute. Producer Paulo Branco was previously attached to the film as a co-financier before falling out with Gilliam sometime in 2016. A court decision is expected Wednesday to resolve questions over the ownership of the film, which will determine whether it can premiere in Cannes on May 19 as planned. 

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 9 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.

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