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Heath Ledger's Last Film Can't Find Distributor

Posted: August 18th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Heath LedgerSubmit Comment
Heath Ledger has helped propel "The Dark Knight" to the top of the box office, but his presence might have a less beneficial effect on his next and final film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus." [via THR]

For US 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 non-commercial Gilliam. The director has been behind a series of box office 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.

Those familiar with the project said that when it comes to commercial expectations, "Parnassus" is more of a mini-major play than a studio picture. The film, which has sold in many foreign territories, is being handled by Lionsgate, which has been mentioned as a candidate to pick up the film domestically.

Financed by Grosvenor Park and produced by Samuel Hadida's Davis Films, "Parnassus" was said to be close to having footage shown and even a deal made several weeks ago, just as the buzz for "Dark Knight" was reaching fever pitch. But as of late last week, many buyers had yet to see footage.

That could put the late actor in a position of having one of the biggest- grossing movies in Hollywood history out at the same time he's in a movie hunting for an domestic distribution deal.

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 UK to Vancouver.

The prospect of getting involved with three marketable stars makes for a relative bargain for a buyer, who might pay low-seven figures for domestic rights but get an eight-figure level of promotable talent.

But even all the talent might not be enough. Said one longtime distribution guru: "For all the elements in this film, it is a Terry Gilliam picture, and as much as you want a movie of his to be good, you have to be careful."

Click here to read more about "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus."

Source: THR


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Displaying 2 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
dop writes:
on August 18th, 2008 at 12:58:58 PM

When did Terry Gilliam became such a Pariah? ive never understood that, I get not wanting to produce a film of his, more than one has died in the midle of making it but not wanting to distribute it? Saying "you want a movie of his to be good? They have all been conistantly good, most of his films are considered cult films for petes sake. They are not huge money makes, some have even lost but this all star packed, with the last performance of ledger seems like a huge hit. weirdo distributors.
bacci40 writes:
on August 19th, 2008 at 10:06:47 PM

the suits hate art...and gilliam makes art...so f*ck them...im sure some enterprising young rich person will grab this sucker

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