It was just last month that Terry Gilliam said that his long developing, forever plagued “The Who Killed Don Quixote” wouldn’t be next, revealing that he was starting work on new film that would come first. “Romania. Let’s just say that I’ve been seen around Bucharest, Romania,” he teased. “That’s it. It used to be that Italy was the best place to make quality films without spending a lot of money. Then, after communism, it was Prague. Then Budapest. Now it’s Bucharest.” Well, now we know what he’s up to and it’s pretty exciting.
Christoph Waltz will lead the director’s “The Zero Theorem,” penned by Pat Rushin, that sounds firmly like the kind of big idea material Gilliam is usually drawn to. Waltz will play Qohen Leth, a computer genius, plauged with existential angst who is searching for the reason for existence. And rather than try and summarize the high concept story, here’s what Deadline had to say:
Living in an Orwellian corporate world where “mancams” serve as the eyes of a shadowy figure known only as Management, Leth (Waltz) works on a solution to the strange theorem while living as a virtual cloistered monk in his home—the shattered interior of a fire-damaged chapel. His isolation and work are interrupted now and then by surprise visits from Bainsley, a flamboyantly lusty love interest who tempts him with “tantric biotelemetric interfacing” (virtual sex) and Bob. Latter is the rebellious whiz-kid teenage son of Management who, with a combination of insult-comedy and an evolving true friendship, spurs on Qohen’s efforts at solving the theorem. But these visits turn out to be intentional diversions orchestrated by Management to keep control of Qohen’s progress. Bob creates a virtual reality “inner-space” suit that will carry Qohen on an inward voyage, a close encounter with the hidden dimensions and truth of his own soul, wherein lie the answers both he and Management are seeking. The suit and supporting computer technology will perform an inventory of Qohen’s soul, either proving or disproving the Zero Theorem.
So yeah, eat your heart out Wachowskis. This the kind of material that seems can either be a fantastic success or a spectacular failure, but either way we’re eager to see what Gilliam and Waltz cook up — certainly this pairing puts the project off to a helluva start. Pre-production has already commenced, rights will be for sale in Toronto, and we’d reckon more casting is to come to entice buyers. And in case there is any doubt, this one has a firm shooting start date of October 22nd….fingers crossed.