Exclusive: First Look At The Zero Theorem

Welcome to Terry Gilliam's new world

Terry Gilliam's new not-quite-sci-fi The Zero Theorem is promising to take him - and us - back to the giddily satirical bureaucratic heights of 1985 classic Brazil. Empire is proud to debut these new shots from the film, letting you into the colourfully dystopian playground Gilliam has created.
Christoph Waltz, billiard-smooth of head, if not mannerism, is the film's ever-present protagonist. As Qohen Leth, a programmer for "entity-crunching" corporation ManCom, he is, Gilliam explains, "waiting for a phone call that will give meaning to his life". Like Brazil's Sam Lowry, Leth is befuddled by the info-dump world he lives in and the Heath Robinson tech tangle that surrounds him. Unlike Lowry, he's something of a hacker genius whose attempts to solve the "Zero Theorem" could unlock the key to life's meaning.

The story, the first by American college professor Pat Rushin, was partly inspired by Gilliam's own work, so the parallels with Brazil are not accidental. It's been in the ether since 1992, but finally found its way to the director via Dean 'son of Richard' Zanuck. "It's not really sci-fi," Gilliam stressed when we visited him on the film's Bucharest shoot. "It's like Brazil, which also isn't really sci-fi." Whatever it is, we can't wait to see it.

Pick up the September issue of Empire, onsale on July 25, for lots more on the film - and from Gilliam - including more pictures and a full on-set report. The Zero Theorem will be out in 2014.