Screen Media Nabs Terry Gilliam's Embattled 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'

Alan Amato
Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in 'Don Quixote'

The decades-in-the-making passion project starring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce is finally getting a North American theatrical release after Amazon Studios got cold feet.

Screen Media has picked up the North American rights to Terry Gilliam's long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

The deal film follows Amazon Studios earlier pulling out of an agreement for U.S. distribution amid a legal dispute with now-former producer Paulo Branco. Screen Media, teaming with Fathom Events, plans a domestic theatrical release in March 2019.

"Terry Gilliam is a true auteur and his latest film does not disappoint. It is the perfect pairing of a film with a filmmaker, the story of Don Quixote, a man who believes in things that seemingly no one else believes in, until finally, they share his vision," said David Fannon, president of Screen Media.

Gilliam’s struggles over two and a half decades to bring his pet project to the screen became the stuff of movie legend, and the subject of the 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha. Directed and written by Gilliam, the film is co-written by Tony Grisoni and produced by Mariela Besuievsky, Amy Gilliam, Gerardo Herrero and Gregoire Melin.

The latest North American distribution deal was negotiated by Seth Needle, senior vp worldwide acquisitions at Screen Media, with the filmmakers. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which stars Jonathan Pryce, Adam Driver and Olga Kurylenko, had a world premiere at Cannes, which took place amid a legal fight with Branco.

A French court eventually ruled that Gilliam would have to pay €10,000 ($11,600) in damages to Branco, who is Portuguese, and Gilliam and his Spanish producer Tornasol Films subsequently lost another legal battle in a Madrid court. The film has already rolled out across Europe after its Cannes closing-night screening.