Production Suspended on Heath Ledger's Latest Movie
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is officially on hold while producers decide how to proceed
Greg Chambers, business manager for the craft union ACFC West (Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople), confirmed that the production on the film, directed by Terry Gilliam, has been suspended indefinitely, putting about 100 crew members out of work until producers can decide whether to recast the film or scrap it entirely.
Ledger had been filming the movie in London just before his death.
“[The production] is currently listed as force majeure,” said Chambers. (Force majeure is a clause in contracts which frees all parties from liability in case of an extraordinary circumstance. In films, this includes natural calamities like hurricanes or earthquakes, or the illness or death of a key cast or crew member.)
Vancouver-based Infinity Features, which is producing the $30 million film at The Bridge Studios in Burnaby, B.C., did not take calls Tuesday or Wednesday and continued to decline comment. Director Gilliam also has not issued a statement as of yet on Ledger or the film.
Ledger was due to arrive in Vancouver on Friday and go to camera on Monday. He was to play a man who joins a traveling theater troupe in an effort to save a young woman from the Devil. The film also starts Christopher Plummer as 1,000 year-old Dr. Parrnassus, Lily Cole as the imperiled young woman and singer Tom Waits as the Devil.