Though Gilliam seems a little uncertain that the clip-show will do his film justice ("I promise you," he says, "none of the best bits are in here"), he enters fully into the theatre of the occasion. He calls his leading lady, Monica Bellucci, to the stage and, after she plants a big smacker of a kiss on him, bellows: "I'll go and change my trousers now." The footage that follows - which will make up Gilliam's first proper movie since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in 1998 - is a spectacular mélange of extraordinary set design, swooping camerawork, creepy special effects and knockabout gags. Gilliam ought to be pleased: his Grimm, with an unrecognisable Matt Damon and Heath Ledger as siblings roaming the 18th-century German forests looking to help fearful villagers out of their spooky predicaments, looks set to be the commercial hit he has so long craved. Looks is the operative word, of course, because this is not much more than an extended trailer - mere cinematic titillation. Who knows what the final movie will be like?
Gilliam laughs as he thinks about it now. "Johnny and I made a deal when Quixote collapsed. He said, 'You make a commercial film, I'll make a commercial film, and we'll get the money to do Quixote.' He made Pirates. Grimms is my commercial film. We had a screening a few days ago, showed it to the producer of Tidelands, Jeremy Thomas. He didn't know anything about it beforehand. He saw it and said, 'I guarantee, it'll be $200m at least.' That was nice - a producer saying that. I hope he's right."
45 MATT DAMON
RANK LAST YEAR: 72
TITLE: BOURNE WINNER
(ED: the graphic calls him the Boston Brawler)
CAREER DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE: $1.5 billion
2004 BOX OFFICE: $302 million
STATUS REPORT: Reinvented the action hero for the new millennium with his brooding amnesiac in "The Bourne Supremacy". Did Kevin Smith a solid with cameo in "Jersey Girl". Nerd turn in "Ocean's Twelve" upped the ante.
NEXT: Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm"; Stephen Gaghan's Middle East political expose "Syriana"; Martin Scorsese's "The Departed"; Robert De Niro's "The Good Shepherd".
YES, IT'S TRUE: Has an indoor basketball court and screening room in his Manhattan loft.