Now here’s a dream team if ever we saw one. It looks like Terry Gilliam’s filmmaking fortunes might be looking up again* as he’s snagged Inglourious Basterds’ Christoph Waltz to star in The Zero Theorem.
The film has been quietly in development for about three years now, with Billy Bob Thornton originally attached to the lead. From the sounds of the synopsis, this one bears all the hallmarks of classic Gilliam, with Waltz’ cachet hopefully keeping any financing issues at bay.
Pat Rushin wrote the script, which finds Waltz’s Qohen Leth, an eccentric and reclusive computer genius troubled by existential crises, toiling at his work in a world controlled by a shadowy figure called Management. And it gets stranger. Though Leth has retreated from the world to escape the glare of Management’s omnipresent “Mancams”, he’s tempted by surprise visits from Bainsley, who brings the lure of virtual sex. Also dropping by is Bob, the rebellious, super-smart teenage son of Management who seems to want to aid Leth in his research into the Zero Theorem, a search for the purpose of existence. But could Bob have a darker, more devious plan, one crafted by his father?
You’ll just have to watch the movie to find that one out and – good news! – Gilliam is actually in pre-production now, with shooting set for October in Romania’s Mediapro Studios. Our fingers, toes and anything else we can find are crossed in the hopes of this becoming a true Gilliam head-twister.
Waltz, meanwhile, will next be seen reuniting with Basterds’ director Tarantino for Django Unchained, due here on January 18 next year.
*Yes, we do realise that by writing that, we’ve probably doomed him to failure, for which we can only humbly apologise.