With only a few weeks until the start of production on Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem, the Monty Python alumnus has cast world-class British actors David Thewlis and Tilda Swinton to star in his new sci-fi allegory.
At the moment it is unclear which roles Thewlis and Swinton will play, but Voltage Pictures and Gilliam were happy to bring them aboard the picture. The Zero Theorem also received an official logline that hints at what’s in store for us when the film premieres in 2013: “An eccentric and reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst works on a mysterious project aimed at discovering the purpose of existence—or the lack thereof—once and for all.”
David Thewlis is best known for playing Professor Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films. He also played the unlikable but charming Johnny in Mike Leigh’s Naked in 1993. Tilda Swinton received critical acclaim for her riveting role as the broken mother in Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin in 2011. The pair will be joined by Moonrise Kingdom’s Lucas Hedges, French actress Melanie Thierry, and Christoph Waltz, who will be playing the lead role of Qohen Leth in The Zero Theorem.
The Zero Theorem will be Gilliam’s first return to the silver screen since his 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which starred the late Heath Ledger and featuring Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell, all three actors playing versions of Ledger’s character after the actor’s sudden death in early 2008.
The Zero Theorem is set in an Orwellian world where the mysterious shadowy figure known as Management secretly surveys the city. Computer-genius Qohen Leth (Waltz) works tirelessly on a theorem that will be the source of all existence, while his love interest, Bainsley, visits him often with the promise of “tantric biotelemetric interfacing” (virtual sex). Meanwhile, the character of Bob, a rebellious teenage genius who is the son of Management, also visits Leth to distract him from his important work.
Production on The Zero Theorem will start on October 22, 2012 at Mediapro Studios for a 36-day shoot in Romania. The film is due in theaters sometime in 2013.