Director Tony Gilliam suffered a minor stroke this weekend ahead of Wednesday’s court ruling that will decide whether his movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote can be screened at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director is now recuperating at his England home. The news was first reported by French newspaper Nice-Martin.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been in the making for more than 20 years, has seen repeated cast changes, and is now stuck in a legal battle. Portuguese producer Paulo Branco, who initially worked with Gilliam on the film, has moved court claiming that he has the rights to the movie. He has sought an injunction against Cannes organisers from showing the film as the closing title on May 19 and seeks to delay the film’s release in France the same day. Gilliam’s lawyer has claimed that Branco did not give them the promised funds for the movie.
The film was included in the Cannes lineup on April 18, a week after the rest of the schedule was announced.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a surrealistic adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s canonical Spanish novel and stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in the lead roles. Gilliam first started work on the film in 1989, but after funding trouble, began production in 2000, with Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp in the lead roles. Since then, there have been multiple delays due to a flooding of the set, insurance problems and the deaths of two actors who were meant to play Quixote, Rochefort and John Hurt. Gilliam resumed production in 2017.
In another setback to the film, Amazon Studios will no longer be involved in its distribution in the United States of America, IndieWire reported on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Chinese production company Turbo Films has acquired the rights to release the film in China.