Entertainment Weekly reports on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

The current issue of Entertainment Weekly (March 13, 2009) features an article by Josh Rottenberg concerning Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; the focus of the article is on the film’s failure (so far) to find a distributor in the U.S. , despite its stellar cast and the fact that it holds Heath Ledger’s final (although incomplete) performance. “Like the Joker in the last act of The Dark Knight twisting upside down at the end of Batman’s rope, the actor’s final performance is hanging in midair,” writes Rottenberg.

Reading between the lines of the story, however, indicates that such melodramatic language is probably unwarranted. U.S. distributors are simply waiting to view the finished film before submitting bids, and Doctor Parnassus is not finished yet: the article indicates it is still in post-production and won’t be available to show to distributors for another month. “The script isn’t a slam dunk,” one acquisitions executive told Entertainment Weekly. “Having Heath in it is appealing. But I’m waiting to see the movie.” Rottenberg adds, “As it happens, the filmmakers won’t screen the movie anyway at least not until April, when postproduction is complete.”

Film representative Dennis Davidson told EW, “The producers felt that it was better to wait for Terry’s vision to be fully realized on screen so that the distributors can see exactly what they’re acquiring.” Director Gilliam is confident that Doctor Parnassus will have no problems securing a deal when it’s complete: “I think people are going to be astonished when they see the film, and there will be a rush to want it.”

The Zone thanks Emma for the EW story; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet