Filmmaker Terry Gilliam is moving forward with production on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus after work on the film had stopped following the death of Oscar-nominated actor Heath Ledger. Ledger was home in New York during a brief break in filming when he died as a result of an accidental overdose of sleeping pills and painkillers.
Ledger's Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus co-star Christopher Plummer told People magazine in early February writer/director Gilliam was determined to salvage the picture. According to a BBC report, actors Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell have signed on to take over Ledger's role as 'Tony' in Gilliam's fantasy film. Scenes with Ledger may remain in the film, with Depp, Law, and Farrell playing different incarnations of the same character.
Depp starred in Gilliam's critically acclaimed 1998 film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The two later reunited on another Gilliam project that had to be shut down - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam's attempt at bringing the Don Quixote story to the big screen was plagued with budget cuts, injuries, sandstorms, and other location problems. A behind-the-scenes documentary, Lost in La Mancha, chronicled the events which caused Gilliam to abandon his dream of finishing The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.