Though 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.
If you look back, Gilliam’s last movie to be released in over 700 theaters was 2005’s The Brother Grimm. Granted, he’s only released two films in the intervening years — 2006’s Tideland and 2009’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus — but still. Even when he’s making fairly mainstream star-filled movies such as the time traveling 12 Monkeys or the drugged-up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, nobody really knows how to promote Gilliam’s movies. The Zero Theorem is definitely included in that.
While we’re being inundated with Transformers: Age of Extinction tie-ins, there’s really nothing to offer potential Zero Theorem audiences other than trailers and posters. I mean, I would definitely buy a bust of Christoph Waltz’s character Qohen Leth, which I would then put on top of a child-sized grand piano to try and impress Lucy Van Pelt. Check out the latest international trailer for Zero Theorem below.
This extremely colorful tale will center on Qohen, a mildly depressed computer hacker who finds himself taking on one of the Big Questions as he researches the reason for humanity’s existence. Unfortunately, the ominous Management (Matt Damon) seeks to disrupt his research, distracting him with a lady (Melanie Thierry) and a would-be friend (David Thewlis), neither of whom appear to be helping him get to The Point. But he probably finds it in the end. Maybe. Tilda Swinton and Ben Whishaw also star.
Get to The Point yourself when The Zero Theorem hits VOD on August 19 and theaters on September 19. And if you’re a fan of Gilliam’s work with the unparalleled comedy troupe Monty Python, be sure and keep an eye out for theatrical screenings of their stage show Monty Python Live (Mostly).