Director Terry Gilliam is finally working on a new movie. Although it has only been three years since The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, it seems like it has been decades since Gilliam has delivered a memorable movie. In the past, Gilliam’s projects have gone over-budget, over-schedule or overall disastrous, so it’s refreshing to hear the visionary director speak positively about his new project The Zero Theorem.
In an interview, Gilliam speaks about the comedy and symbolism of his new sci-fi epic. When compared to his 1996 film 12 Monkeys, Gilliam wants The Zero Theorem to be funnier than the dark synopsis would suggest. It also sounds like the film will be a cautionary tale about the dangers of organized religion and government institutions, similar to his 1985 film Brazil. Gilliam reveals details about The Zero Theorem’s protagonist, Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz)…
The main character is literally living in this burnt-out chapel which one could take as a metaphor for old beliefs and old systems. He’s a computer genius but he’s just sitting there waiting for a phone call, which he’s hoping will give meaning to his life…. It really is about relationships, and discovering what’s really important in life.
Gilliam continues to speak highly of the film’s lead by stating what has to be conveyed in the limited space of the chapel setting, two-thirds of The Zero Theorem will take place in this chapel so the performances have to be powerful for the film to work.
So to keep it interesting is what I’m going to have to master. The acting is crucial to it — there is no car chase nor a shootout — none of those things you can fall back upon to keep the film going. It’s about the acting and that is why Christoph is so incredible.
The script of The Zero Theorem contains nude scenes but Gilliam isn’t sure how much nudity will end up in the film. The nudity will most likely involve Leth’s love interest, Bainsley. She is described as lusty, while offering Leth tantric biotelemetric interfacing” (virtual sex).
There is a bit of nudity in the script, whether it will be that nude in the film I don’t know. When you’ve got people flying around through space, sucked into black holes naked… that can be very difficult to do.
Christoph Waltz was cast in The Zero Theorem last week and the film will be his follow-up to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The Zero Theorem will start shooting on October 22nd at Mediapro Studios in Romania.