Monday, January 28, 2008

Imaginarium to Depp

With the recent death of Heath Ledger, a few practical considerations had to be addressed in terms of the work he was doing.

Firstly, yes his work on The Dark Knight was totally complete. The only effect Heath's death will directly have on the film is on its marketing which reportedly was supposed to continue along a vein of Joker-centric ads until a bit closer to the release when it would shift to the caped crusader himself. This strategy has, out of respect, been changed since the tragic events last week.

Heath's 'other' film though, the one he was actually working on when he died, a Terry Gilliam pic call The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus has a bigger problem. Having already filmed for a month in London, and recently moving production to Vancouver for the final two-thirds of production, Heath was an integral part of the film, and a large part of the reason the film received the budget it did. So what is to happen to this film? Will it be scrapped? recast? or perhaps can Heath be edited around?

Well, AICN is now reporting the rumor that Heath's role will most likely be re-written to accommodate another actor. No, he's not being written out. Reportedly the character will now change physically upwards of 4 times throughout the film. As a story device already in the film involves falling through a magical mirror; the character will now fall through the mirror as played by Heath Ledger and if the rumor holds, fall out of the mirror as played by Johnny Depp.

I think this is a pretty good idea considering the circumstances. It would also be a nice way to honor Heath's memory. Carrying this film to completion, with Heath's work intact, is kind of like a bittersweet cinematic requiem. Hopefully this is more than just a rumor.

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