Author Topic: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus  (Read 67849 times)

Offline Kelda

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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« on: January 24, 2008, 07:21:18 pm »
Many of you will be aware that Heath was shooting a movie when he died - it was called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and was being directed by the Monty Python star Terry Gilliam.

Quote
From Comingsoon.net:

Production Shut Down for Ledger's Parnassus?

Source: Us Magazine, Variety

January 23, 2008


According to Us Magazine, crew members on the Vancouver set of Heath Ledger's new fantasy, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, were sent home after the actor's death yesterday.

"I just got the call [Tuesday] saying everyone was being let go," the on-set source said. "We were supposed to start this weekend, but obviously they fired everyone today. They don't know yet what they are doing with the footage that was already shot," the source added.

Ledger was on a break from filming Terry Gilliam's $30 million indie film when he died Tuesday. Shooting had begun in London last December. He was last photographed on set Jan. 19.

Variety says that blue-screen work was due to start next week in Vancouver and continue until early March.

The producers have yet to issue any statement about how or whether they plan to proceed without Ledger.

Ledger was the biggest name in an ensemble cast including Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole and Tom Waits. It's the story of an ancient travelling show which arrives in modern London with a magical mirror that can transport its audience into fantastical realms of the imagination.

Plummer plays the impresario Doctor Parnassus, and Ledger took the role of a mysterious outsider who joins the troupe on a quest through parallel worlds to save the doctor's daughter (Cole) from the clutches of the devil (Waits).

The movie is produced by Samuel Hadida, Bill Vince and Amy Gilliam, and largely financed through Hadida's Paris-based Davis Film.

Ledger's involvement in the project was a key factor in raising the finance. He had a strong relationship with Gilliam from their last pic together, The Brothers Grimm.

In November 2000, Gilliam was forced to abandon his $32 million indie project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote after just a week of shooting, when his star Jean Rochefort was too ill to continue.

Ledger's death also came as he was working on what would have been his feature directing debut, an adaptation of the Walter Tevis novel "The Queen's Gambit," with British writer/producer Allan Scott.

The leading role of a young female chess prodigy had been offered to Oscar nominee Ellen Page. Ledger, himself a highly rated chess player, was due to play a supporting role.

What I didn't realise was that Heath was a major financer of this film. The biggest apparently.

Also, Heath had been in London only days before - he had finished shooting in london and would be moving to canada to do the last part of the film.

Principal photograpy was completed and wrapped three days before he died.

The canada part was apparently the films photography, post-production photography such as the special effects, green screen and soundstage photography - so they are less then half way thorugh its production process.

So will this film come out? - well I guess it depends on financial backing - will Heath's money still be in place? And what about financers who had backed because Heath was in it?

It also would be dependant on what and how much is already shot, and if they can finish in a dignified and cost-effective manner. Replace him and refilm everything? or use CGI and stunt doubles and changes to the scripts like in Gladiator and The Crow?

Only time will tell I guess. I really hope its finished with him in it. It'll be a lasting legacy

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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 07:28:20 pm »
Gilliam has already had his fair share of badluck when it comes to his movies, so I found out today....

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Trivia

He started to direct "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" in 2001 (in Spain) with Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis and Jean Rochefort but the shooting was unfortunately stopped a couple of days after it started because of Jean Rochefort's health problems (he couldn't ride a horse any more). But Terry Gilliam said that he won't give up and that he will try again later because he dreams about making this movie!

During the filming of Brazil (1985) he became so stressed that he temporarily lost the use of his legs, which only returned to normal several weeks later.

J.K. Rowling, creator of the "Harry Potter" book series, originally wanted Gilliam to direct Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), but Warner Brothers studios wanted a more family friendly film and eventually settled for Chris Columbus.

Was slated to direct an adaptation of the novel "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The project languished in development for three years before finally being abandoned.

Also turned down directing Braveheart (1995), when briefly solicited by Mel Gibson to direct an abandoned film version of Charles Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities".

...............I hope he can overcome this one. The fact this is a wierd mysterious fantasy tale means they can probably play about with the story writing to allow Heath's part to remain in without ruining the story too much...


Here's an IMDB synopsis (warning some spoilers)




The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day. It tells the story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary 'Imaginarium', a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick, in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this 'coming of age' milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter's hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles - and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all...
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 03:25:51 am »
Thanks for starting this thread, Kelda.  Where did you hear that Heath was the main financer? 

In the Christopher Plummer interview I read today, he said that the film was less than half-finished being shot.  I guess we'll hear more as the days go by.  In a disquieting way, everything seems mixed.

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 09:31:47 am »
from the Daily Telegraph, Australia:

Depp poised to finish Heath role



January 25, 2008 12:00am

DIRECTOR Terry Gilliam hopes Johnny Depp will step into Heath Ledger's role and allow him to finish the movie that will go down in history as the Aussie hunk's last.

Ledger was less than two months from finishing Gilliam's fantasy film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

And the acclaimed director reportedly now wants Depp to shoot the remaining scenes.

A studio insider told Britain's The Sun newspaper: “There is a point in the film when Heath falls through a magic mirror. He could change into another character after that and that is where Johnny would come in.

“It’s a weird, fantasy, time-travel movie so Heath’s character could easily change appearance. It would be a poignant moment.

“Johnny’s not working at the moment so everyone is praying he will do it.”

The paper adds that Ledger had a blazing row with film bosses just three days before he died after they refused to reshoot a scene he was unhappy with.

“It’s a big clue as to the state of mind Heath was in," one source said.

 
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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 09:38:25 am »

The paper adds that Ledger had a blazing row with film bosses just three days before he died after they refused to reshoot a scene he was unhappy with.

“It’s a big clue as to the state of mind Heath was in," one source said.

 

Exactly HOW is that a clue to WHAT state of mind Heath was in? God, the bullshit that comes out of these so-called "sources".

 :( >:(

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Offline Meryl

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 01:30:49 pm »
From today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/movies/25parn.html?_r=1&ref=movies&oref=slogin

January 25, 2008

Actor’s Death May Mean Film’s End

By DAVID M. HALBFINGER

LOS ANGELES — Heath Ledger’s death has created an enormous marketing challenge for Warner Brothers in promoting its Batman sequel, “The Dark Knight,” in which he plays the Joker. But that is nothing next to the predicament confronting Terry Gilliam, who was less than halfway through directing his next film when Mr. Ledger, one of its stars, was found dead in a New York apartment on Tuesday.

Mr. Gilliam’s $30 million morality tale, “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus,” stars Christopher Plummer as the title character, the leader of a traveling theater troupe that tempts its audiences with the chance to “transcend mundane reality by passing through a magical mirror into a fantastic universe of limitless imagination,” according to an official synopsis. Mr. Ledger played a troupe member who romances the character’s daughter.

The earthbound exterior portions of the film were shot on location in England in December and January, said Graham Smith, who served as a publicist for the film up to its London wrap last weekend. The production was then set to shift to Vancouver, British Columbia, where the fantastical portions of the action were to be shot using special effects on a soundstage.

Mr. Ledger’s death leaves the producers with few desirable options: recast and reshoot, rewrite and adjust, or abandon the project altogether. Mr. Gilliam wrote the movie with Charles McKeown, his collaborator on “Brazil” (1985) and “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (1988). (Mr. Gilliam has been famously plagued by production problems: his movie “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” was abandoned after a flood and a $15 million insurance payout.)

Joanne Camacho, an insurance broker on “Imaginarium,” declined to comment Thursday. But Brian Kingman, managing director of Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services, a leading entertainment insurance underwriter, said that only 18 days of filming had been completed on the film, suggesting that about $14 million had been spent, and that Mr. Ledger had been named an “essential element” under the film’s cast-insurance policy.

That means the producers would have the right to abandon the film and recoup their spending on the project before his death. “Producers always try to complete the movie,” Mr. Kingman said. “The question is, can it be? They’ll have to analyze what’s been shot, what additional shots are needed, and can the missing scenes be doubled?”

He speculated that it might cost $10 million to reshoot Mr. Ledger’s scenes with another actor, but said the producers might not want to if they financed the movie based on his box-office appeal. (The film does not yet have a domestic distributor.)

Calls and e-mail messages to William Vince, one of the producers, were not returned. A woman answering calls at the movie’s production office declined to comment, saying, “We don’t know what’s happening; nobody’s told us anything.”

Hollywood has not seen a high-profile star’s death in the middle of a movie in some time. When Brandon Lee was killed in 1993 on the set of “The Crow,” Mr. Kingman said, the filmmakers “were very clever and creative and completed the movie with a double, and that movie turned out to be successful enough to entice people to do a sequel.” (It made more than $50 million at the domestic box office.) River Phoenix died of an overdose in 1993, halfway through making “Dark Blood,” which was abandoned. John Candy died in 1994 with a third of his scenes left in “Wagons East,” which was finished after the insurance company paid a reported $15 million settlement.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 03:46:31 pm »
Thanks for starting this thread, Kelda.  Where did you hear that Heath was the main financer? 


I did read that in some article but for the life of me I dont know where... buy it was def that he was a major financer rather than his imvolvement guaranteed financing.
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 04:05:22 pm »
I did read that in some article but for the life of me I dont know where... buy it was def that he was a major financer rather than his imvolvement guaranteed financing.

The comment is in the comingsoon.net article, right here on this thread.
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Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 04:06:26 pm »
The reliability of this is unknown, but it could be an interesting solution to finishing Dr Parnassus.

Quote
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article724412.ece

Johnny to be Heath stand-in

JOHNNY DEPP is poised to stand in for tragic HEATH LEDGER in what was to be his latest film role.
Brokeback Mountain star Heath - found dead in his New York apartment earlier this week - was six weeks from finishing fantasy flick The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Now director TERRY GILLIAM wants his pal Johnny to film the remaining scenes. A studio source said: “There is a point in the film when Heath falls through a magic mirror. He could change into another character after that and that is where Johnny would come in.

“It’s a weird, fantasy, time-travel movie so Heath’s character could easily change appearance. It would be a poignant moment.

“Johnny’s not working at the moment so everyone is praying he will do it.”
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