After nearly twenty years of trying to get it off the ground, director Terry Gilliam claims that he’s finally getting the chance to make his Don Quixote movie – and apparently, the success of the Star Wars movie is to thank for it.

His latest proposal for the project, which has reportedly been unsuccessfully launched on seven separate occasions going back nearly two decades, involves Adam Driver portraying a character based on the Spanish adventurer’s loyal servant Sancho Panza, while Gilliam’s old ‘Monty Python’ colleague Michael Palin is to play Don Quixote himself.

Terry GilliamTerry Gilliam at the Cannes Film Festival 2016

Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday evening (May 18th), Gilliam confirmed rumours that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, mooted for the best part of 18 years, is to finally get under way in October this year with £13 million in investment and an injection of new stars.

That funding was made possible by the newly famous youngster Adam Driver, after he appeared as bad guy Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens last year.

“Finally this year I think we’ve got the perfect cast," Gilliam told reporters. "I met Adam Driver, who is kind of the guy I’ve been looking for for all these years, and thank God for Star Wars — Adam Driver is bankable, we can get the money.”

More: ‘Star Wars’ actor Adam Driver says script for the new movie is “really great”

Gilliam first attempted to get the film made in 1998, but various incidents such as the set being destroyed by a flood in 2000 and the ill health of actor John Hurt in 2015 have quashed the project at various stages of development. Over the years, actors such as Ewan McGregor, Robert Duvall, Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp have been tipped for involvement.

However, Gilliam only recently realised that his long-term friend Michael Palin would be suitable for the part of Don Quixote, joking that he was the “nice one” out of the rest of the “old and miserable” Python crew.

“My fear is that people have been expecting it for so long that I won't come up to their expectations,” he said about his confidence about the project after so many false starts. “That's my only fear, my own inability. It’s one of those dream nightmares that never leave you until you kill the thing.”

He hopes that the film will make its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next year, which will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Cervantes, the author of the 17th century classic.

More: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Don Quixote’ postponed once again after John Hurt diagnosed with cancer [archive]