Gilliam has made a few extremely expensive movies beset with production problems. After the lengthy quarreling with Universal Studios over Brazil, Gilliam's next picture, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, cost around US$46 million, and then earned only about US$8 million in US ticket sales.
In the mid-1990s, Gilliam and Charles McKeown developed a script for Time Bandits 2; the project never came to be, as several of the original actors had died. He also attempted to direct a version of Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, which collapsed due to disagreements over its budget and choice of lead actor.
In 1999, Gilliam attempted to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, budgeted at US$32.1 million, among the highest-budgeted films to use only European financing; but in the first week of shooting, the actor playing Don Quixote (Jean Rochefort) suffered a herniated disc, and a flood severely damaged the set. The film was canceled, resulting in an insurance claim worth US$15 million. (Gilliam's reputation in this regard has been sufficient for the satirical newspaper The Onion to run a news article entitled "Terry Gilliam Barbecue Plagued By Production Delays".) Although the film was canceled, the story behind the whole production was filmed by a second crew hired by Gilliam to document the process. (This was as sort of an insurance for Gilliam, learned from previously canceled productions.) This production story was made into the documentary Lost in La Mancha.
He has attempted twice to adapt Alan Moore's Watchmen comics into a film. Both attempts (in 1996 and 2000, respectively) were unsuccessful. Most recently, unforeseeable problems again befell a Gilliam project when actor Heath Ledger died in New York City during the filming of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Gilliam has also helmed some unqualified successes, however. The Fisher King (1991) was nominated for five Academy Awards, Twelve Monkeys grossed over US$168 million worldwide, and The Brothers Grimm has grossed over US$105 million worldwide.