How 7 Famous Movies Dealt With An Actor Dying Mid-Production
Heath Ledger In The Imaginarium Of Doctor ParnassusWhat Happened: Fresh off shooting The Dark Knight, a role that would later win him an Academy Award, Ledger decided to go a little less mainstream and boarded a Terry Gilliam film called The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. Between a third and halfway through filming, Ledger tragically died from an overdose of prescription medication. His passing at just twenty-eight-years-old was relentlessly covered for weeks and inspired an outpouring of emotion from all over the world.
What Happened After: Production was initially shut down, and all involved assumed the movie would simply be cancelled. After letting the tragedy sink in, however, Gilliam reached out to Ledger's friends Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell and asked if they would help him complete the movie. The script was rewritten so Ledger's character would alter his appearance and take on various disguises, and the end result wound up grossing more than $60 million. The three new actors were also all kind enough to donate the money they were paid to Ledger's daughter.
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