In the weeks since Heath Ledger’s sudden death , a lot of time has been spent debating his legacy and influence. This much, however, can’t be disputed: The man had a lot of good friends.
“I am delighted that Heath’s brilliant performance can be shared with the world,” director Terry Gilliam has told the BBC, revealing that production resumed Monday on “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” the fantasy film Ledger was shooting when he died .
Gilliam, who Ledger credited with reinvigorating his passion for acting on the set of the 2005 flick “The Brothers Grimm,” has vowed that despite his leading man’s death, the show will go on. Last month, Colin Farrell, Jude Law and Johnny Depp signed on to help complete the film , agreeing to portray various aspects of Ledger’s character, Tony. Ledger himself had done something similar in one of his final films, sharing the role of Bob Dylan with Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and others for “I’m Not There.”
Following the suspension of principal photography in January, Gilliam had stated his intention to keep the “Brokeback Mountain” star’s abbreviated performance intact and claims that his existing script can make the multiple Tony characters work. “[I hope] to touch people’s hearts and souls as Heath was able to do,” the acclaimed “Brazil” filmmaker told the BBC. “I am grateful to Johnny, Colin and Jude for coming onboard and to everyone else who has made it possible for us to finish the film.”
The typically unclassifiable Gilliam tale, which follows a traveling circus performer and his deal with the devil, stars Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits. Gilliam is quick to point out that the shoot, which is currently taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, has resumed “with the blessing and support of Heath Ledger’s family.”
The BBC story also quotes producers for the film, who further explained the notion behind the unusual multi-actor performance: “Since the format of the story allows for the preservation of his entire performance, at no point will Heath’s work be modified or altered through the use of digital technology,” Gilliam’s partners are quoted as saying. “Each of the parts played by Johnny, Colin and Jude is representative of the many aspects of the character that Heath was playing.”
The BBC report also speculated that Ledger’s character is part of a magic-mirror-like plot point, which could have the different actors appearing at various points, allowing the entity to take form.
In other news related to the late actor, it was revealed over the weekend that Ledger had named his parents and sister as beneficiaries in his living will. The 28-year-old star filed the will in 2003, preceding his relationship with actress Michelle Williams and the birth of their daughter, Matilda Rose.
Shortly after the revelation, Ledger’s family issued this statement: “Matilda is our absolute priority, and Michelle is an integral part of our family. They will be taken care of, and that’s how Heath would want it to be.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”
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