The Zero Theorem (TBA)
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton
Director: Terry Gilliam
U.S. Opening Date: TBA
Based on a screenplay by Pat Rushin, The Zero Theorem
is a sci-fi western thriller largely set in a church laboratory. Billy Bob
Thornton will be playing an ingenious recluse who, while working on a
mysterious project, tries to answer the really big questions of life. Some
of the science fiction elements include a virtual psychiatrist that runs
on a computer screen; cyber-suits that enable voyages into virtual the
soul; a legion of clones that don't appear to be clones after all, if you
look at them on DNA level.
Few Hollywood directors have had a career as frustrating
as that of Terry Gilliam whose oeuvre includes quirky and brilliant
efforts such as Brazil,
Time Bandits and The Fisher King
Unfortunately his offbeat sensibilities have brought him
into conflict with Hollywood money bosses. Most of his movies are simply
too weird for mainstream tastes and they end up being box office
disappointments. Also, his most recent efforts (Fear and Loathing in
Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm) can be described as “diluted”
Gilliam at best. One would like to think that his recent movies are
disappointing because of creative interference by nervous suits, but deep
down one suspects that Gilliam may have lost his touch altogether.
The Zero Theorem might however prove us wrong.
Insiders who have read the screenplay think that the
screenplay is so uncommercial (read: excellent) that it is absolutely
amazing that the project is getting made at all!
“I really can’t believe this was given the green light,”
writes slashfilm.com. “I’m absolutely ecstatic that it was, but still
utterly shocked – the budget must be very reasonable. To put it simply,
this was a smart and unpredictable screenplay that will not only require
intelligence on the part of everybody in the cast and crew, but the
audience will also be expected to switch on and fire all cylinders too.
Are they going to be prepared to do that? I think they’ll be thankful for
So here’s crossing our fingers. Zero Theorem just
might be the Terry Gilliam film that we have been hoping for all these
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