Feb 25

US Release of Parnassus, Heath Ledger’s Last Film, Delayed

indie_parnassus400After receiving the posthumous award for Heath Ledger as Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars, Kate Ledger informed reporters backstage that her brother’s last film was going to be amazing and the family is very much involved in the final movie.

Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” almost didn’t pull through with the untimely death of the actor. However, 3 of the most talented actors in Hollywood agreed to take Ledger’s place — Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Collin Farrell. Apparently, Dr. Parnassus will be traveling around in time and Gilliam has found a way of changing the look of the character as he shifts from one time to the other.

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However, the bigger question is when US audiences will be able to see the movie. There were several US buyers reported to be interested in acquiring stateside rights — Lionsgate and Overture among them. But news about the potential deal halted.

Rumors about problems on finances surfaced as the budget was said to cost over US$20 million. This would indeed pose problems for the distributor considering that Gilliam’s style hasn’t caught much of an audience the past years. Even with Ledger and his notable replacements, the possibility of the film making money may be questionable.

The UK release is already sealed this summer under the distribution of Mandate International. Hopefully, a US release come soon after Ledger’s Oscar win. A mini-major or larger indie may be expected to make the play. Though it has been 6 months since the initial talks about a US deal, there is no doubt it will be released as it is Ledger’s final performance.

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