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The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus Making Rumors Fly

Apr 27, 2008
When Academy Award nominated actor Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008, the entertainment industry stood still to mourn an actor who passed long before his time. Ledger's death has already affected the marketing campaign of the film The Dark Knight, and it has also severely affected the production of his last film, Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Ledger's Death temporarily halted production on the fantasy film. Having already spent a large amount of money on the film, the studio opted to recast the character Ledger was set to play.

However, merely recasting him would have been considered distasteful, and instead the character of Tony will be portrayed not only by Ledger, but by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell, who are taking on the role as a tribute for Ledger. Not only will the performance of Depp, Law, and Farrell be a tribute, but the film itself is expected to be dedicated to Ledger.

This is fortunate for director Terry Gilliam, for this would have been his second time ceasing production halfway through a film with the first being The Man from La Mancha.

"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.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is expected to open in theatres in 2009.
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