AceShowbiz - Filmmaker Terry Gilliam is convinced his new Don Quixote movie will be a hit, because his friends love it.
The former "Monty Python's Flying Circus" star has spent 25 years trying to make the film, which has been blighted by casting issues, natural disasters on set, and financial problems, but on the eve of the movie's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Gilliam is finally happy with the finished product.
The director wrapped the project, titled The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a year ago, and there have been efforts to stall the release of the movie by former producers - but Cannes bosses stood by Gilliam and recently won the right to screen the film as their festival's closing movie.
And Gilliam, who was recently hospitalised following a minor stroke, is more than a little relieved.
"If you do Quixote you expect to be treated like Quixote," he tells Deadline. "The book is all about suffering, or at least it's about the triumph over suffering. So it seems to me it has played out perfectly so far."
But he's sure all that suffering has been worth it - because he has a hit on his hands: "My moment of clarity happened fairly late in the day because I had just started screening it. I show it to friends, and they bring their friends, and that's when I know it's working.
"I don't trust my own judgment. There's a moment where you think, 'Yeah, we've done this'. Then we screened it for the French press, a few weeks ago, and they just reiterated it. They did exit polls when people were leaving, and I'd say 95 per cent of them loved it. There's always that one guy who hated it... But it's when I saw people weeping at the end that I knew we'd done something."
"I just want people to see the thing," Gilliam adds. "And what I'd like, more than anything, is for it to become a commercial success. It would make life easier on the next one (film project). The last couple of films I've done have not done well. You pay the price for that."