Terry Gilliam may be lucky in love, but he’s rather unlucky in filmmaking. Lost in La Mancha chronicled the mishaps and catastrophes that plagued his version of Don Quixote, which eventually had to be scrapped. For his current production, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, he cast the late Heath Ledger as the lead. When Heath tragically passed, many thought the production would need to be scrapped since it was already about halfway through filming.
Gilliam has creatively found a way to save the film by relying on it’s fantastical nature. The main character passes from the “real world” to various fantasy realms through a magic mirror. Luckily for the production, all the real world scenes had been filmed. Now, when Heath’s character passes into a new realm, a different actor will play that part. The three actors taking the roles are Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law. I don’t think Gilliam could have asked for better actors, and the box office appeal will surely skyrocket because of their involvement. And we all benefit by getting to see Heath’s final performance, which will not be edited or enhanced in any way.