Heath Ledger and Doctor Parnassus

featurette from the movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

about this featurette

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the last film of Heath Ledger. Although production of the movie halted last year after Heath’s sudden death, a couple of months later it was picked up again and the film is now in post-production. But in the US, the production company still doesn’t have a distributer. Is Heath Ledger’s last movie one of those projects that isn’t even getting a chance before its release?

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a typical Terry Gilliam project. The director of Twelve Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is known for his big independent projects, which often barely get to their release date.

Production of the movie began in 2007, with a relatively high budget for an independent picture, $30 million. It follows the story of the 1000-year old Doctor Parnassus, the leader of a traveling theater group, who made a deal with the devil to become immortal. Doctor Parnassus possesses a magic mirror, which gives his audience members the ability to go beyond reality by going through the mirror. One day, a mysterious conman called Tony joins the theater group. And this is where Heath Ledger comes in.

The movie was halfway into production when he passed away, and director Terry Gilliam basically thought it was the end of the movie. Production was suspended indefinitely. But then, some friends of Heath and Gilliam stepped in to salvage the film. Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law were cast to complement the work done by Ledger. They would all play a transformed version of Tony in the magical world of the movie. Filming resumed in March 2008 and finished later that year.

But with the film nearing completion, none of the US distributers have stepped up to pick up the rights. This, while several countries, like the UK, France and Australia, to name a few, have big distributers backing the movie. I’m sure there will be some kind of release in the US, but meanwhile, all we can do is get the word out.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus featurette (1:57 minutes) added to the Cultjer video catalog on February 25th, 2009.

film page

Is The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
worth the popcorn?

more The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus videos