Terry Gilliam, who once showed up to New York’s IFC Center in New York holding a “Will Direct For Food” cardboard sign, has acquired something of a reputation for not getting projects off the ground. Besides the famously aborted production of his Don Quixote adaptation (which has since been revived, then postponed again), Gilliam’s name has also been attached to adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities, Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, and a Gorillaz movie that is also an adaptation of Chinese opera, to name just a few. So when steam actually does start building for a Terry Gilliam movie, like the announcement that Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz has been cast in the director’s forthcoming (maybe) sci-fi film The Zero Theorem, it’s something to get excited about, however warily.
For now it seems as though The Zero Theorem really is entering production, and that Waltz really is playing Qohen Leth, a computer scientist working on the titular theorem, which aims to calculate the reason for human existence. According to Deadline, the character is “plagued with existential angst,” which—when taken with the film’s decidedly Orwellian setting of a futuristic society overseen by a mysterious figure known only as “Management"—definitely makes The Zero Theorem sound exactly like a Terry Gilliam movie. Except, y’know, for the part about it actually getting made, but maybe he’s turning it around on this one.