Long considered the unluckiest filmmaker in Hollywood, former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam has lost millions of dollars and suffered God-only-knows how many sleepless nights over absolute nonsense out of his control. That’s why it should have surprised no one that Heath Ledger’s death occurred while filming for Gilliam’s new movie The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus. Or that the film in question ultimately might not even be released in The United States. Dr. Parnassus may well be on a one way train to obscurity, which begs the question: with all this hoopla, all this mania surrounding the deceased actor who was recently given a posthumous Oscar, how could his last film possibly not be released?

According to Risky Business, the film’s budget of more than twenty million dollars is partially to blame, as both parties would then aim for a higher sale and gross without truly knowing if the film would actually play with audiences more than a year after Heath’s untimely death. And that’s only the issue with getting them to the theater. I haven’t seen Dr. Parnassus yet, but Gilliam isn’t always the most family, middle-of-the-road director. His methods are frequently abrasive, and Midwesterners who loved A Knight’s Tale might not appreciate the moral complexity a Gilliam film can bring.

Ultimately, I’m fairly certain this film will be released and will be released in the United States. It may not get the fierce marketing campaign it will need to turn a profit, but ignoring Uncle Sam when there's money to be made is rarely the correct solution.

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