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The Zero Theorem: Christoph Waltz Brilliantly Seeks Meaning In Nothingness

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the zero theorem“Be vewy, vewy quiet. We’re hunting entities.”

Back in 1983, Terry Gilliam and his Monty Python cohorts took on the Meaning of Life, never quite putting a definition to it other than demonstrating that our lives are the sum of our experiences. Gilliam’s latest candy-colored mindbender, The Zero Theorem, is a film about a man who is also looking for a deeper context to this thing called existence. In narrowing his scope to one character, more or less, Gilliam is able to tackle vastly large ideas without having to pretend that he has all the answers. There is always meaning if you look for it. And if you don’t, well, that sure is some pretty scenery, isn’t it, Ma?

A hairless Christoph Waltz plays Qohen Leth, a computer programmer (for lack of a better job description) whose list of phobias, ticks, and eccentricities could fill a medical text. He lives the bulk of his solitude in a converted church where rats and birds are his unofficial roommates, only traveling outside to go to work for a company called Mancom that deals in crunching entities and liquid memory and other buzzwords that aren’t the point. Qohen’s main goals involve working from home and staying around his telephone, waiting for a magical call in which all of life’s mysteries will be revealed.

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The Zero Theorem Character Posters All Add Up To Nothing

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Zero TheoremTerry Gilliam’s latest film, The Zero Theorem just hit video on demand yesterday—with a theatrical run to follow on September 19. Early reviews have been mixed, but we’re still excited to finally see what has been described as a warmer, cuddlier version of the director’s earlier dystopian films like Brazil and 12 Monkeys. If nothing else, we’ll always get pumped up for a Terry Gilliam movie, no matter what. To mark the release, there are now a half-dozen new character posters.

The film stars two-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, who plays a strange, isolated computer genius named Qohen Leth, who lives by himself in the charred husk of a church. That’s a good place for an isolated weirdo to dwell. When Management (Matt Damon) gives him a mysterious project—discovering the meaning of life—Qohen is besieged by existential angst, unwanted visitors, and distractions from every side. He eventually falls in with Melanie Thierry’s Bainsley, a sexy, flirtatious woman who comes into his orbit, and that’s when things start to get really interesting and his world view opens up.

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Zero Theorem Teaser Poster Banned Because Of Christoph Waltz’s Buns

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ZeroTheoremBannedPoor Terry Gilliam has had a rough time of it over his many years as a filmmaker. He’s made some of the most colorful and distinctive genre classics of his age, such as 12 Monkeys and Time Bandits, but for every success he’s had more than his fair share of trouble. He famously butted heads with Universal over the ending of Brazil, and his next film, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, was a massive flop that barely got a domestic release from Columbia Pictures. His The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a master class in Murphy’s law, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was struck by the tragic death of Heath Ledger, forcing his part to be recast (by three different actors). So if the biggest speedbump The Zero Theorem hits on its way to theaters this September is having its appropriately odd teaser poster banned by the MPAA to protect our innocent eyes from Christop Waltz’s bare backside, well, I guess that’s not that bad, all things considered. But it’s still pretty dumb.

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Terry Gilliams’s The Zero Theorem Will Hit U.S. Theaters In September

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the zero theoremThough director Terry Gilliam’s ties to Hollywood seem to be ever decreasing, his films never cease to amaze me more than 90% of the heavily touted mess that gets shoehorned into nationwide theaters every weekend. His next mind-bending adventure, the existential comedic drama The Zero Theorem, has finally secured a release date from Amplify and Well Go USA Entertainment, and audiences can expect to find it in U.S. theaters on September 19.

It’s been three-and-a-half long months since The Zero Theorem was picked up for domestic distribution in March, and we’ve calmly been acting out scenes from Time Bandits while waiting for an actual date to mark on a calendar. Now that we have one, we can start wondering just how few cinemas will actually be screening it. Luckily, the studios also announced that they’re putting it out on VOD platforms starting August 19, which is how most of the country will be forced to watch it, I’m sure.

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Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem Finally Finds U.S. Distribution

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ZeroTheoremThere are some directors sauntering around Hollywood who seem to do their damnedest to make worthless films that somehow get them jobs on bigger projects, and then there’s the brilliant and highly creative Terry Gilliam, who has to fight tooth, nail, bullet, and cannonball to get his films off of the page and into theaters. And when his films do hit theaters, it’s almost assuredly a limited run in only the larger markets. It, like the question of life, may never be explained, but Gilliam will do his best with his upcoming pic The Zero Theorem, which has finally found distribution here in the U.S. through Amplify and Well Go USA Entertainment, who teamed up on this deal.

The companies plan on getting the film out to audiences at some point this summer, though a specific date hasn’t been assigned just yet. Following this release, there are plans for a Blu-ray and DVD release, but no mention of VOD yet, though it seems like that would be looped into all of this. While Amplify is new to the distribution game, Well Go USA has been big on putting out interesting indie films from all over the world, including the horror comedy Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead and the horrific thriller Killers, which is due out in the next few months.

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Terry Gilliam’s Watchmen Probably Would Have Pissed Off Fans More Than Snyder’s

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watchmenBack in 2009, director Zack Snyder brought his vision for Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen to the big screen. While Snyder’s film was mostly faithful to the original source material, there were some changes to the ending to make it more palatable for movie-going audiences. The premiere of Watchmen in 2009 was the product of a very long road of production development that changed hands a number of times before it landed in Zack Snyder’s lap. In fact, one of those “roads not taken” could have resulted in a Watchmen film from Terry Gilliam.

The Watchmen film was in development pretty much from the time the comic book series was first hitting newsstands across the country in 1986. Producer Joel Silver and Lawrence Gordon acquired the film rights for Twentieth Century Fox, before it eventually moved to Warner Bros. While writer Alan Moore had no interest in seeing his story on the big screen, screenwriter Sam Hamm (who penned the 1989 Batman) painstakingly condensed 12 brilliant issues into one manageable screenplay. Silver then brought on Terry Gilliam to direct the film, following up on the artistic — if not box office — success of Brazil in 1985.

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