Senior Editor
08.18.08 22 Comments

Terry Gilliam is the legendary director of Brazil, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King and Fear and Loathing n Las Vegas.  Sadly, everyone seems to think he’s bad luck, and he’s having trouble getting a distribution deal for his latest movie, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, even though Heath Ledger’s in it.

For U.S. distributors, the quirky Terry Gilliam film — centering on parallel worlds, a theater troupe and a devil-dealing 1,000-year-old doctor — presents a conundrum. On the one hand, it’s a chance for the history-making opportunity — not to mention a marketing coup — of releasing Ledger’s last movie.

But it also comes with challenges that lately have followed the stubbornly noncommercial Gilliam. The director has been behind a series of boxoffice flops and hasn’t had a hit since "Twelve Monkeys" in 1995. Buyers who might otherwise be willing to shell out for a Ledger film are holding back.

Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law stepped in to the Ledger role after the actor died in January, with the script tweaked to reflect a shapeshifting element that allowed for other actors to play his role. The trio, who have said that they’re donating their fees to Ledger’s family, took over, as shooting moved from the U.K. to Vancouver. [THR]

Hey, let’s all donate our money to the heirs of the guy who died making the second-highest grossing film of all time!  We’ll save her from poverty.  Here, Matilda, this gold-plated spaceship is your father now.  I have a better idea, why not give money to someone who needs it, someone whose father is alive but has horrible credit, someone who’s old enough to have a crippling gambling problem.  You know Heath would’ve wanted this way.

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