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Terry Gilliam‘s new film The Zero Theorem stars Christoph Waltz as a nervous, put-upon data processing agent who is looking for a mathematical explanation of existence. He’s also waiting for the most important phone call of his life, and fending off distraction from an attractive woman sent to him by the Management.

If you think that all sounds like quintessential Terry Gilliam you’re very likely correct. The first trailer and footage shown at Comic Con make the film out to be connected — spiritually, at least — to Gilliam’s film Brazil. And with every photo released (such as the one above) we get new glimpses of the director’s odd and rather pessimistic vision of the future… or the present.

Now we’ve got the first poster for the film, which you can see below. There’s also a statement from Gilliam about his intentions. Finally, and even better, you can watch the video introduction the director recorded for Comic Con. It’s a great video intro from the director in which his personality really shines through. (And in which he insists and confirms, comically, that Matt Damon is in the movie.)

Here’s Gilliam’s video intro, which makes a good companion to his text explanation that follows.

This text comes via The Film Stage:

When I made Brazil in 1984, I was trying to paint a picture of the world I thought we were living in then.  The Zero Theorem is a glimpse of the world I think we are living in now. 

            Pat Rushin’s script intrigued me with the many pertinent questions raised in his funny, philosophic, and touching tale.

          For example: What gives meaning to our lives, brings us happiness? Can we ever find solitude in an increasingly connected, constricted world? Is that world under control or simply chaotic?

            We’ve tried to make a film that is honest, funny, beautiful, smart and surprising; a simple film about a complex modern man waiting for a call to give meaning to his life; about inescapable relationships and the longing for love; peopled with captivating characters, mouthfuls of wise and witty dialogue; raising questions without offering easy answers.  Hopefully, it’s unlike any film you have seen recently; no zombies, no caped crusaders, no aliens or gigantic explosions.  Actually, I might have lied about that last item.

             Having not worked with a budget this small for several decades, I was forced to work fast and instinctively, pressured only by the lack of time and money.  We relied on the freedom to spin on a dime, to make outrageous creative leaps. The results surprised even me.  I’m proud to have been part of The Zero Theorem.       

Here’s the poster:

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The Zero Theoreom premieres soon at the Venice Film Festival. It doesn’t yet have a US release date. The film also features  Tilda Swinton, Matt Damon, David Thewlis, Ben Whishaw, Peter Stormare, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Melanie Thierry.

THE ZERO THEOREM revolves around an eccentric and reclusive computer genius (two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz) plagued with existential angst who works on a mysterious project aimed at discovering the purpose of existence ­or the lack thereof­ once and for all. However, it is only once he experiences the power of love and desire that he is able to understand his very reason for being.

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