Terry Gilliam Scraps His Sci-Fi Project Zero Theorem
And another one down for Terry Gilliam. The overly ambitious and terribly unlucky filmmaker has told the fansite Dreams that yet another of his projects is going in the trash bin. Zero Theorem was the title of the project, a science fiction film supposedly about a reclusive and tortured data processing genius working on a mysterious project. The last we heard it was due to begin filming this year with Billy Bob Thornton set to star. But apparently due to all the extra work and publicity put into Gilliam's latest, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the project got delayed and eventually had to be scrapped in the end. Very sad news.
"I thought I could do it quite quickly and cheaply," the filmmaker said in an interview conducted at Cannes last month, "and that would be a nice one, rather than getting caught in more expensive, more complicated or hard-to-finance things. But the year just got swallowed up by Parnassus and publicity, and preparation for Don Quixote. I just didn't think it would be viable and I pulled the plug earlier this year."
A plot synopsis at the Voltage Pictures site made Zero Theorem sound like a cross between Gilliam's Brazil and The Matrix, which doesn't really seem like something we needed anyway, but then again, as with most of the director's work, it would have been the visuals that attracted us more than the story, and we can only now wonder what the guy might have shown us with his "Orwellian corporate world."
So the rebooted Man Who Killed Don Quixote will be Gilliam's next movie, with or without Johnny Depp, who still "gets first dibs," according to Gilliam The filmmaker assures us that another actor could replace Depp because the film has changed so much, and the character is different, more rounded than what we saw the first go-around. As for other new projects, Gilliam admits he hasn't been able to think of anything else due to the lengthy concentration on Parnassus, which Alex called "another great Gilliam success, even with some flaws" in his review from Cannes. The rest of us will have to wait until the fall to see for ourselves.