Gilliam beats bid to ban his film from Cannes

Cannes (France) (AFP) –


A legal bid to stop the world premiere of Terry Gilliam's disaster-plagued film "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" at Cannes has failed, the festival's lawyers told AFP Wednesday.

The film's former producer Paulo Branco had attempted to stop the movie closing the world's top film festival next weekend but Cannes' lawyers and Gilliam's producers told AFP that "we have won".

The festival's director Thierry Fremaux -- who infuriated Branco by weighing in to support Gilliam last week -- later confirmed to reporters that "the court ruled in favour of 'Don Quixote' being screened".

Monty Python founder Gilliam has struggled for nearly two decades to get the film, one of the most ill-fated in movie history, to the screen.

The legendary polymath and maker of such screen classics as "Time Bandits" and "Brazil" reportedly suffered a suspected minor stroke at his London home last weekend but was later released from hospital.

The festival said Wednesday that Gilliam would attend.

"Terry Gilliam will be there. Let's turn this (court) victory into a great party".

Gilliam's various attempts to shoot the surreal story, based on Cervantes' "unfilmable" novel, have been beset by a series of calamities, some of them recounted in the acclaimed 2002 documentary, "Lost in La Mancha".

The set was washed away during an aborted attempt to make it in 2000 with Johnny Depp, when the lead actor Jean Rochefort also had to be airlifted to hospital after falling ill.

A host of Hollywood stars including Ewan McGregor, John Hurt, Robert Duvall and Jack O'Connell were later linked with the project, but each time the production fell through.

Minutes before news of Wednesday's verdict leaked out, Branco -- who claims he owns the rights to the film -- vowed to fight on.

Judges in Paris are due to rule next month on a wider case over who owns the rights.

Courts in France and Britain have previously sided with Branco in the long-running dispute.

The Portuguese-born producer last week tried to obtain a court order stopping the film, which features "Star Wars" actor Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, from being shown at Cannes and released in France.