When Heath Ledger died in the middle of shooting for Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, nearly everyone assumed the movie was done for. Gilliam isn’t exactly a guy who just pumps out movies—he takes years to finish some pet projects, and has gone as many as seven years between films. Plus his attempt to make a movie about Don Quixote famously met disaster after disaster, and was never finished.

Against all odds, Dr. Parnassus has begun shooting again, with an augmented cast and, surely, a great hole in the production’s heart. As has been reported earlier, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp will take over at Ledger’s character, who travels through a magic mirror early in the film and exists in different “worlds.” The three actors will each play a variation on the same character, who is played in the real world by Ledger.

The Hollywood Reporter quoted a statement from the producers that quells the worries of many Ledger fans: “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."

It’s hard to figure out exactly how they’re going to make it work, but if anyone can pull it off—or at least make it really, really strange—Gilliam is the man to do it. So the honor of being Ledger’s last film will go to Dr. Parnassus, and Gilliam will be able to bring another of his strange and beautiful visions to the screen. Because, for God’s sake, the man has been through so much now—just let him have another hit!
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