Terry Gilliam is Making ‘The Zero Theorem’ With Christoph Waltz

Published 3 years ago by

christoph waltz zero theorem terry gilliam Terry Gilliam is Making The Zero Theorem With Christoph Waltz

It’s honestly quite shocking when a long-gestating Terry Gilliam project actually happens, given the long list of ambitious ventures the Monty Python alum may never get to tackle (including, Good Omens and Man Who Killed Don Quixote). Hence, it’s fair to file the announcement about Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem moving forward under “surprising news of the day.”

Zero Theorem is based on a script by little-known writer Pat Rushin; some three years ago, Billy Bob Thornton was starring, with the late legendary producer Richard D. Zanuck (The Sting, Jaws) backing the endeavor. Zanuck’s son, Dean, has taken up the position left vacant by his father, while Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz (fresh off shooting for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained) has replaced Thornton.

In Zero Theorem, Waltz plays an eccentric character (does he play any other kind?) named Qohen Leth, a reclusive computer genius who dedicates his time to solving the eponymous theorem – which will demonstrate once and for all whether or not life has a purpose (and what it is). The story setting recalls the dystopian world of Gilliam’s sci-fi cult classic Brazil, which takes place within an Orwellian landscape – but is even more twisted, to better fit Gilliam’s evolving storytelling sensibilities (somehow, they’ve become more unhinged over the past decade).

For example: Zero Theorem takes place in a world populated by computerized shrinks, sex-bots that offer “tantric biotelemetric interfacing,” and cyber-suits that allow people to explore the realms of their own soul (which may or may not be real (?), as will be determined once the Zero Theorem is either proven or disproven).

Terry Gilliam 1884 movie Terry Gilliam is Making The Zero Theorem With Christoph Waltz

Terry Gilliam returns with 'The Zero Theorem'

Chances are good you understand now why Zero Theorem has been kept at bay for so long; judging by an early script review (hat tip to /Film), it reads like a Philip K. Dick story on steroids. Pre-production is nonetheless fully underway, in order to realize this fascinating tale of humanity’s quest to grapple with questions about its own existence – in a world where technology has progressed so far as to (possibly) shatter the line between rationality and spirituality.

Voltage Pictures will handle worldwide sales for Zero Theorem at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, ahead of a planned October 22nd production start date at MediaPro Studios in Romania. It’ll be near impossible to convince buyers that Gilliam’s latest is a bankable venture, given the filmmaker’s track record. One thing you can be certain of, though: Zero Theorem is one of the most visually and thematically trippy, original, movies on the horizon.

We’ll keep you posted on any additional noteworthy developments concerning The Zero Theorem as more information is released.


Source: Deadline [via /Film]

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  1. This is VERY cool news. I wondered where Mr. Gilliam was lately…
    Brazil (and it’s multiple versions/endings) is one of my favorite films to this day. I’ll watch anything he does and I’m really look forward to this.

  2. …and for those of you searching for “original” in a sea of re-boots, this should be just the ticket.

    • …as Sandy mentioned.

  3. DUDE, would you finish “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” all-freakin’-ready?!

  4. Love Terry Gilliam. I have all of his movies on DVD. I’ll be in the theater when this movie premieres for sure.

    How about Gilliam for Doctor Strange? He’d do a very interesting take on DS.

  5. Sounds like a classic Gilliam movie. Hope this gets done.

  6. Qohen Leth … what a name!!

  7. Christopher Waltz + film = must see.

    Love this guys acting style. Good to see that he hasnt been typecasted and is getting a diverse set of roles.

  8. I love Sci-fi & I really enjoy Christoph Waltz’s acting, so this is a must see for me(and anyone who thinks this is interesting).

  9. now i make a statement,where i hope to make no enemies:) i think t.gilliam is totally overrated because he made some good movies(brazil,12 monkeys even brothers grimm was not bad)but since 15 years or longer he has destroyed his productions that he is passionate for,like don quichote and there was another one(forgot the title)that he had begun and never finished. i´ve watched the documentary about -the making of don q.- and he had very good ideas and visions and johnny depp was in the movie,too.something in his brain makes a blockade(a intellectuell or art problem maybe).

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  11. “given the filmmaker’s track record” – what? Two films out of a plethora of money makers.