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Phil Stubbs of Dreams, the splendid online Terry Gilliam fanzine and forum, has recently had another chance to chat with the master director about his films upcoming, and one definitely no longer approaching. Though Gilliam is still currently working on the PR and sales for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, he’s also preparing to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote next spring. His last attempt to mount the production was infamously thwarted by a whole heap of unfortunate coincidences, giving rise to the Tragi-documentary Lost in La Mancha. That time around it starred, or was in the process of starring, Johnny Depp as a commercials director transported into a Cervantes novel. Next time around, however, that most definitely won’t be the case.

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I’ve just finished reading Pat Rushin‘s screenplay to the film The Zero Theorem which is set to start shooting in May, under director Terry Gilliam and producer Richard Zanuck, and which will star Billy Bob Thornton. To pigeonhole it, because I suspect you want me to at least try, I’ll call it a science-fiction drama that skidded on the turnpike and ended up ditched in a psychogenic fugue.

My first impression on finishing the script is simple – I really can’t believe this was given the greenlight. 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 the opportunity.

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