Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Al Pacino, Jessica Biel & Billy Bob Thornton Among Cast In First Incarnation Of Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem'; Plus New Photos

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist August 30, 2013 at 9:01AM

“The new phrase that's floating around is you need a 'hard-bender' if you're doing a film of a certain size. A 'hard-bender' is one with either Tom Hardy or Michael Fassbender and it never stops, it always astonishes me.” During our recent two-part chat with director Terry Gilliam, he described the casting hoops required to jump through in order to get a movie made; his latest, “The Zero Theorem,” stuck him with the lowest budget he's had for decades, but while he still ended up with a enigmatic cast led by Christoph Waltz, the film's original cast was even more curious choice.
2
The Zero Theorem

“The new phrase that's floating around is you need a 'hard-bender' if you're doing a film of a certain size. A 'hard-bender' is one with either Tom Hardy or Michael Fassbender and it never stops, it always astonishes me.” During our recent two-part chat with director Terry Gilliam, he described the casting hoops required to jump through in order to get a movie made; his latest, “The Zero Theorem,” stuck him with the lowest budget he's had for decades, and while he still ended up with an enigmatic cast led by Christoph Waltz, the film's original cast was far more curious.

Pulled together quickly and pleasantly shot and cut with no major setbacks, “The Zero Theorem” delivered an abnormal experience for a man used to the absolute worst, and also a chance for Gilliam to collaborate with Waltz, sitting in the center of the director's “ 'Brazil' for 2013” as computer hacker Qohen Leth. But when Gilliam first came onboard the Pat Rushin-penned project in 2008, Billy Bob Thornton toplined the film as Qohen, and as a recent Empire feature (print edition) on the film revealed, he was also joined by Jessica Biel and Al Pacino in smaller roles. 

Now replaced by actress Melanie Thierry, Biel was supposed to play the femme fatale Bainsley in the film, while Pacino waited to portray Qohen's shadowy boss known only as "Management" — a role now taken over by Matt Damon with a surprising white hairdo. Together, Thornton, Biel and Pacino would've made quite the trio to undertake Gilliam's vision, but when the director originally nixed the project due to scheduling issues back in '09, their involvement likely did as well.

Regardless, “The Zero Theorem” still features a stellar line-up, with Waltz, Thierry, and Damon joined in the science-fiction drama by Tilda Swinton and Ben Whishaw; we're greatly anticipating its Venice premiere in just a few short days, so keep your eyes peeled for that review (and check out these new pics via EW), but as with every one of Gilliam's efforts, it's intriguing to ponder the unmade versions left on the pre-production floor. 

The Zero Theorem
The Zero Theorem
Zero Theorem, Gilliam

This article is related to: The Zero Theorem, Al Pacino, Billy Bob Thornton, Jessica Biel


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates