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Terry Gilliam explains the Church of Batman the Redeemer

Sometime in the near future -- although, alas, not the one depicted in DC Comics' Futures End -- people will worship at the altar of the Dark Knight. At least that we're told by Terry Gilliam's new film The Zero Theorem, in which we glimpse an enormous ad that declares "The Church of Batman the Redeemer Needs YOU."

With its U.S. release today in select theaters and on VOD, the director has of course been making the press rounds, discussing a cinematic world overtaken by technology, and precisely why people would follow the Caped Crusader.

"We have to believe in something, don't we?" Gilliam tells IGN. "And I think comic book heroes are the new apostles, the new prophets. They're all there!" While he acknowledges "he got kind of silly" with that part of The Zero Theorem, he contends it's not that far removed from our world. "It's this kind of belief in superheroes now is what it's really about."

Explaining to Crave Online how, as a cartoonist, "you take what’s out there and you make it a bit more grotesque." Gilliam again turns to the Church of Batman the Redeemer: "Come on, I mean how is Marvel surviving? It’s because people believe in Batman and Superman and Marvel comics more than they believe in anything else."

When the interviewer notes that, "It does seem like it’s only a matter of time," the filmmaker replies with a laugh, "I hope so."

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