THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS "a tough sell" in the U.S. market, says Hollywood Reporter

Terry Gilliam’s THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, currently in post-production, features Heath Ledger’s final (albeit unfinished) performance, plus the combined talents of Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law as alternate visions of Ledger’s character–yet the Hollywood Reporter says that the indie film may have trouble attracting a distributor in the United States. The film’s allegorical style and director Gilliam’s recent box-office record are a cause for concern. “For U.S. distributors, the quirky Terry Gilliam film–centering on parallel worlds, a theater troupe and a devil-dealing 1,000-year-old doctor–presents a conundrum,” writes HR’s Steven Zeitchik. “On the one hand, it’s a chance for the history-making opportunity–not to mention a marketing coup–of releasing Ledger’s last movie.” But distributors also remember that Gilliam’s last hit film was TWELVE MONKEYS in 1995, and that makes them wary.

“In this market, unless I have a reason to think a movie like this is going to be a slam dunk I’m not going to take a flyer on it, even with Heath Ledger,” one distribution executive told the Hollywood Reporter. Still, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, if not quite a “slam dunk,” has a lot to lure a U.S. distributor: the “prestige value” of distributing Heath Ledger’s final work, and the talented trio of Depp, Farrell and Law to assist with promotion. Notes Zeitchik, “The prospect of getting involved with three marketable stars makes for a relative bargain for a buyer, who might pay low-seven figures for domestic rights but get an eight-figure level of promotable talent.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the news; you can read more about the marketing of DR. PARNASSUS on the Zone’s Porch forum. To read the Hollywood Reporter article, CLICK HERE. –Part-Time Poet

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