The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is the last film appearance of the late Heath Ledger, Oscar winner for The Dark Knight, an actor who had more talent than most of the inhabitants of his profession. So, it was good news to hear that Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python, who also directed Ledger in The Brothers Grimm in 2005, was going to make an attempt to salvage Ledger’s last performance.
To that end he cast a trio of actors to take over Ledger’s role as a character named Tony. According to a synopsis a traveling theater group is a just a little more interesting than the audience might expect. Doctor Parnassus, Christopher Plummer, runs the troupe. He also happens to be one thousand years old having won a bet with the Devil in which he gained immortality. Ledger’s character Tony is enlisted to save Parnassus’ daughter played by Lily Cole, from being payment for her father’s deal with the Devil. Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law all have a piece of Ledger’s character, enabling Gilliam to preserve the work done by the late actor as well as finish his film.
Gilliam has had some tough breaks before. There’s the film that got away that he’s taking another crack at, Don Quixote. His failed attempt was chronicled in the documentary Lost in La Mancha in 2002.
L’Express and The Playlist (via CHUD) has new stills from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The photos (seen above and below) show a bleeding Heath Ledger dressed in a white suit alongside his junior co-star Lily Cole. There are also shots of Depp, Law and Farrell inhabiting not only the white suit but Ledger’s character.
The film will be shown in NYC and then at the Cannes Film Festival. There’s no news on distribution yet.
Are you looking forward to seeing Heath Ledger’s last performance?