Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Heath Ledger & The Curse of Terry Gilliam (Part II)

(continued from Part I)

Years go by, Gilliam only manages to make one movie, Tideland. It's not the worst film ever, but far from his "A game". So, lets fast foward the story to end of production of Christopher Nolan's soon-to-be-smash-hit The Dark Knight.

Heath Ledger, fresh from filming as The Joker - the role that will now probably define his career and has a good chance to earn him posthumus awards - signs on with Gilliam for production of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. A filming schedule is made, Gilliam finally has his ducks in a row, production begins ... and Ledger passes away.

While this tragedy - a word used in its purest form here - adds hype and buzz to The Dark Knight, it seems to kill all hope for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Luckily for us fans, it looks like this one is really getting done. With Ledger's role started but not completed, Gilliam had a quandary - should he recast and then reshoot the entire film? Instead, a seemingly better - or at least more interesting and commercially viable - solution was reached. Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law all signed on to the film to each take turns playing Ledger in the role as a last tribute to their friend. Reports even have it that the actors are giving their fees to Ledgers family.

When news of this becomes more widespread and more publically known, it will almost guarantee Gilliam a commercial success with the film. And why not? With his talent at the helm of it - and with Tom Waits playing the devil - this is the film I am most excited for in 2009.

[official website]
Terry Gilliam's Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Plot and Concept Art [Worst Previews]

- Goodchild

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