“The Imaginarium is the place you go to find out if you’ve got an imagination”
Yesterday, Terry Gilliam unveiled clips of his latest project at Comic-Con, “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.” The bizarre fantasy movie co-stars Heath Ledger, in his final role before his death, as Tony, a silver-tongued showman modeled after former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Gilliam spoke eloquently and emotionally about Heath Ledger’s involvement in Parnassus. Ledger died in January while on a week-long break from filming; his role was completed by Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp. Gilliam’s clip shows Ledger, dressed in a white suit and Pulcinella mask, pouring on the charm for an audience of women in a mall, introducing them to the wonders of Imaginarium. “He was an extraordinary actor,” Gilliam said of the 28-year-old Australian actor. “He was very old. There’s a wisdom about him that was far beyond his years.”
Ledger, who had a yen for unconventional roles, asked to play Tony, Gilliam said. “I said yessss!” he recalled. Gilliam, who is one of the six members of Monty Python, is known for his outlandish films, including “Brazil,” “Jabberwocky” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” With Ledger’s outsized performance, “Parnassus” could prove to be one of Gilliam’s most bizarre projects thus far.
Gilliam’s still on the hunt for a U.S. distributor for Parnassus. Any buzz the movie gets out of Comic-Con is certain to up the bidding.