Director Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem is finally headed to the U.S., and we’ve got the MPAA-approved, green-band trailer to prove it. The U.S. theatrical preview for Gilliam’s new project draws comparison to his previous cinematic operas of madness – specifically, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are but the ones listed here. It also includes a series of critical raves for the film accompanied by some familiar material, but also fresh footage that illustrates the colorfully unhinged nature of Gilliam’s latest dystopian vision.
Zero Theorem, based on the script by relative newcomer Pat Rushin, revolves around one Qohen Leth – who, depending on your interpretation, can be read as either a Gilliam stand-in and/or a fleshed-out caricature of a modern-day computer nerd – or maybe just the latest oddball brought to life by Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz.
However you look at him, Qohen’s dilemma in the film is quite the perplexing one: he’ll be a failure if he doesn’t prove “The Zero Theorem”, which he is hired to solve, but if he does succeed then that means he’ll have proven that existence has no meaning. On top of that, Qohen soon finds himself being constantly distracted from his research by a young woman named Bainsley (Mélanie Thierry) – someone sent down by the very ‘Management’ (Matt Damon) that hired Qohen in the first place. Makes perfect sense.
Per usual for Gilliam’s recent work, Zero Theorem has the critic community split; the film’s satirical vision of society has earned lots of praise, yet the movie’s franticness and general sense of madness makes it one of those divisive sci-fi works – where the sheer messiness of the whole thing seems to be as much a turn-off for some people as it is an attractive feature for others. Still, even if Zero Theorem doesn’t always (or, rather, ever) make a whole lot of sense, the examination of reason and spirituality that lies at the heart of the story, appears to be an interesting one.
Rounding out the Zero Theorem cast are such folk as David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas), and Lucas Hedges (The Grand Budapest Hotel), among others.
The Zero Theorem will be available on iTunes starting August 19th, 2014, before it begins a limited U.S. theatrical release a month later on September 19th.