Heath Ledger’s latest movie, The Dark Knight is currently sitting in the top 30 highest grossing movies of all time, yet his final movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, is not having the same success.
Ledger was half way though filming when he died, and to honor him Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law decided to complete his role. You would think a movie staring those three actors and the fact that it was Ledger’s last film would make distributors fight over it like animals. However, that is not that case.
The biggest problem is director Terry Gilliam, who hasn’t had a hit since Twelve Monkeys back in 1995.
“In this market, unless I have a reason to think a movie like this is going to be a slam dunk I’m not going to take a flyer on it, even with Heath Ledger,” one distribution executive said. One specialty exec added few execs at his company had been tracking it.
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.
One longtime distribution guru said “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.”
Terry Gilliam doesn’t have a very good track record, and the fact that it stars such big actors doesn’t mean it will be any good, and the distributors know that. Although, it would be a shame for Ledger’s last movie to get a small release…and negative reviews.