Tag Archive | "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus"

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CONAN Writers Tapped For DR. STRANGE Film

Posted on 22 June 2010 by William Gatevackes

Who will be the next Marvel character to hit the big screen? Which one will be the first to be produced under Marvel’s partnership with Disney? It looks like it will be Doctor Strange.

Deadline: New York is reporting that the writers of the Conan revamp, Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, have been hired to develop the good doctor for the big screen. The pair also wrote a draft of another comic book adaptation, Cowboys and Aliens.

Dr. Strange is Stephen Strange, once an egotistical, high-profile surgeon whose practice was ruined when his hands were injured in a car accident. Losing the one thing that made him special, Strange descends a spiral of self-destruction. As a last ditch effort, he travels to a remote Himalayan village to visit a mystic to get his life back. The mystic instead train Strange to take his place as the world’s sorcerer supreme.

Of all the thousands of untapped Marvel characters, I always believed that Dr. Strange would be the best fit for the silver screen. Not only due to his origin, which I think is very interesting and cinematic in its own right, but his adventures can lead to so many different interpretations. They can be in horror–either psychological of “jump out and grab you”–or a trippy, psychedelic mind warp of a film like The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus or Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. But the property would be best served as some combination of all the above.

But who should play the doctor? Well, according to Bleeding Cool.com, Patrick Dempsey supposedly is interested in the role. The image to the right was created by Hollywood-based comic artist Arne Starr and presumably has been shown to Marvel execs to sell them on Dempsey as Doctor Strange.

Dempsey does have a relationship with Disney, having starred in their recent hit Enchanted, so his casting might not be that absurd if Disney takes a hands-on approach to Marvel’s film offerings. However, if I was the one casting, I’d go with another TV doctor. I think House‘s Hugh Laurie would be an excellent choice for the role. He is more of a physical match for the character and can definitely play that kind of role.

And where would Dr. Strange fit in with the Iron Man/Thor/Captain America: The First Avenger/Avengers shared universe thing? Well, he probably wouldn’t. Not that he couldn’t–those films are distributed by Paramount but controlled by Marvel so it’s assumed they will come over to Disney after their distribution agreement is finished. But Dr. Strange, until recently, was never a big part of the Avengers mythos in the comics. So, the best I’d think we could hope for would be a passing reference, if that.

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New Releases: January 8

Posted on 08 January 2010 by William Gatevackes

1.Daybreakers (Lionsgate, 2,523 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated R): Vampires are all the rage these days, but only the ones that sparkle and pitch woo to bad actresses. Let see how a more aggressive vampire does at the box office.

This film takes place in 2019 and vampires are the dominant species on Earth. The humans that remain are food. And food is getting scarce. Now, two sets of vampires aim to preserve the human race. One because it is the right thing to do, the other, to keep the food supply coming.

This film has the possibility to be satiric and biting (no pun intended). However, the trailers seem to indicate that they are going for more of a straightforward horror.  Satire would be fun to see, but hey, what do I know?

2.Leap Year (Universal, 2,511 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated PG): Wow. Great cast, goofy concept.

Frankly, this kind of wacky romantic travelogue comedy seems to be beneath a two-time Oscar-nominee such as Amy Adams.

She plays and American woman who flies to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend. Of course, getting to her boyfriend isn’t that easy as she experiences setbacks along the way. She is helped in her quest by an Irish man played by Matthew Goode, who tries to help her reunite with her boyfriend in order to propose. Naturally, they fall in love along the way, causing a dilemma for her when she finally meets up with her boyfriend.

Yeah, the “trying to get to my mate, paired with a complete opposite for the trip, finds more in common with travelling companion that mate” plot has been done before. The actors are good, so maybe they’ll rise above the material, but still. Shouldn’t they be holding out for something more?

3.Youth In Revolt (The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films, 1,873 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated R): I just want to point something out to everyone out there. Michael Cera is 21 years old. Which means that he is going on four years past his teenage years. Remember all the jokes they used to make about the cast of Beverly Hills 90210? I’m going to start making them about Cera very soon.

Cera plays a nerdy teen who falls in love with a free spirit. The only way he could ever compete for her affections is to develop a suave alter ego named Francois. Of course, doing this causes chaos and destruction in his small town

I do admire bring a dose of weirdness to the typical sex comedy, but this might be just a little bit too obscure. It might have worked in the original novel, but seems kind of cramped in a film format. 

4. The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus (Sony Pictures Classics, 400 Theaters, 122 Minutes, rated Pg-13): I usually only cover films that are in 1,000 theaters or more in this column, and this film is only expanding to 400, but it is one of my editor’s favorites. I wouldn’t dare cut the film from this week’s list. He knows where I live and knows how to get here.

Obviously, the biggest story about this film is that it is Heath Ledger’s last film role, as he died before shooting completed. It took three no-name actors—I think their names were Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell. I’m not sure because their not, like, international superstars or anything—to replace him. Luckily, the plot allowed these actors to step in and it make sense.

The film involves a carnival owner making deals with the devil for immortality and youth. The deal made gives Mr. Nick his first born daughter on the the day she turns 16. He is trying to avoid this at all cost, but the only way to avoid condemning his daughter is to win one last wager with Mr. Nick.

Terry Gilliam is an acquired taste, but even those who don’t list him as a favorite must recognize that he does handle fantastic themes very well. This film appears to be right in his ball park. 

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Want To Read Some Oscar Hopeful Screenplays?

Posted on 23 December 2009 by Rich Drees

screenplaysIf you’re looking for a little reading over the holidays, you may want to check out some of the screenplays that the studios are flogging for Academy Awards consideration this year. More and more studios are placing their Oscar hopeful scripts online for the voting members of the Academy to peruse and hopefully vote for a nomination for either Best Original or Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s much cheaper than sending out copies to everyone and has the great side effect of making them also available to anyone to read. All the scripts are in .pdf format and will probably only be available through the awards season. (So click and save if you’re interested in having a copy to read later on down the road.)

500 Days Of Summer (FOX Searchlight)
9 (Focus Films)
Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos) (Sony Classics)
The Blind Side (Warner Brothers)
Coraline (Focus Films)
Crazy Heart (Fox Searchlight)
The Damned United (Sony Classics)
An Education (Sony Classics)
The Fantastic Mister Fox (Fox Searchlight)
Funny People (Universal)
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (Warner Brothers)
The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment)
The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus (Sony Classics)
The Informant! (Warner Brothers)
Inglorious Basterds (Weinstein Company)
It’s Complicated (Universal Studios)
The Last Station (Sony Classics)
The Men Who Stared At Goats (Overture Films)
Moon (Sony Classics)
Nine (Weinstein Company)
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire (Lionsgate)
Public Enemies (Universal Studios)
The Road (Weinstein Company)
A Serious Man (Focus Films)
Sin Nombre (Focus Films)
A Single Man (Weinstein Company)
Sugar (Sony Classics)
Sunshine Cleaning (Overture Films)
Where The Wild Things Are (Warner Brothers)
The White Ribbon (Das Weiss Band) (Sony Classics)

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Finally, A US IMAGINARIUM Poster

Posted on 10 November 2009 by Rich Drees

If there are any sweeter assemblage of words in the English language than “A Film By Terry Gilliam,” I don’t know. I mean look at them there, right smack dab in the middle of the new US poster below for the director’s upcoming The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus. They jazz up the otherwise lackluster composition of the piece, even helping to distract from the awkward picture of stars Heath Ledger and Lily Cole towards the top.

To be fair, from all accounts, The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus sounds like a tough film to synopsize on a poster. And while this US poster is certainly not as good as the Lily Cole-centric United Kingdom poster we brought to you a few weeks ago, it certainly isn’t as cringe inducingly bad as the John Neville’s-head-as-hot-air-balloon monstrosity that Columbia put together for Gilliam’s 1989 masterpiece The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen.


Via SlashFilm.

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UK Gets Stunning PARNASSUS Poster

Posted on 14 October 2009 by Rich Drees

Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus opens in the UK on Friday, and those lucky Britishers have gotten one last poster for the film. This one features Lily Cole, who as Parnassus’s daughter is caught up in a wager between her father (Christopher Plummer) and the Devil (Tom Waits). Click on the poster for a much bigger view, there’s a lot going on in this poster. We in the States will have to wait until Christmas Day for the film to open.


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Posted on 22 September 2009 by Rich Drees

The best Christmas present any of us will get this year will be the release of Terry Gilliam’s new film The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus. And like all highly-anticipated presents, who doesn’t like a sneak peek to tide you over until the time you can fully unwrap them? With just a few days over three months before we’ll be able to settle in to a cozy theater seat, the film’s official Facebook page has released the film’s official still set, the pictures that get sent out to the press to use when they hopefully devote time/column space/ink/bandwidth to a film. Enjoy and click on any picture for a larger look-

























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Gilliam’s PARNASSUS To Get US Distribution

Posted on 13 August 2009 by Rich Drees


Since it screened for potential buyers last Mat at the Cannes Film Festival, Terry Gilliam’s latest film, The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, has been searching for a studio to step up and distribute the film in the United States. Well, Sony has manned up and is currently in final talks to bring the movie to theaters as early as by the end of the year via their Sony Pictures imprint.

SlashFilm speculated yesterday that Sony would be picking up the picture with the intention of releasing Parnassus theatrically on Christmas Day. Today, Variety has confirmed that the studio is close to finalizing a deal, though an official announcement is expected later this week or early next week. As is usual with Variety, no credit was given to SlashFilm for doing the initial legwork on the story.

This is exciting news, as it has been years since Gilliam has had a film that truly reflects his directorial vision receive a decent theatrical distribution. His last film, 2005’s challenging Tideland, only screened in a small handful of cities. He also saw The Brothers Grimm released that year, but that film was severely compromised by studio chief Harvey Weinstein, who fought with Gilliam on a number of creative issues great and small. Before that was 1998’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, a film which Gilliam stepped in to direct at the last minute. While 12 Monkeys (1995) and The Fisher King (1991) bear the director’s indelible visual stamp, they originated within the studios that released them. Has it really been since 1988’s The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen since we’ve had a film that Gilliam has both scripted and directed? Hopefully, Sony will release this at Christmas, as this would be the best present fans could get this year.

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The International Trailer of DR. PARNASSUS

Posted on 07 August 2009 by Rich Drees

We’ve seen pictures. We’ve seen short clips. And now, here is the first trailer for Terry Gilliam’s highly anticipated next film, The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus.

It’s the international trailer, since no American studio has seen fit to pick the film up yet. (And the key word here is yet… I’ve been hearing some rumblings that a deal may be in the works.)

With this trailer, not only get a better look at the amazing world beyond the titular doctor’s magic mirror, we also get our first looks at Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, who stepped in to complete the film in the wake of Heath Ledger’s passing in the middle of principal photography. The trailer is chockablock full of exciting images and it looks as if Gilliam has really let his imagination run riot with the use of computer generated imagery for the world inside Parnassus’s Imaginarium.

I can only hope that this gets picked up for the US soon.

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Three Short DR. PARNASSUS Clips

Posted on 25 May 2009 by Rich Drees

Well, Terry Gilliam’s latest, The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, has screened at Cannes and the reviews are in. It seems that critics have fallen into two camps- those who liked the film and those who found it too complex and difficult for their tastes. (Poor babies.)

While we wait for a Stateside distributor to pick the film up and get it out to theaters, here are three short clips from the film. They don’t divulge much in the way of plot, but they do give a sense of the visual style of the movie. Because of its modern day/real world setting, Imaginarium may not look quite like his classic fantasy films, but it still has the feel of Gilliam at his height.

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Four New DR. PARNASSUS Pictures

Posted on 07 May 2009 by Rich Drees

If I could go to Cannes to see one film, it would be Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus. When left to his own devices, Gilliam continues to be one of the most interesting and imaginative filmmakers today.The film has already screened for some industry buyers and word is that some found it “rather complex.” At the start of yet another summer blockbuster season where storylines are nothing more than skeletons to hang visual effects set pieces, that sounds pretty good to me right about now.

While we wait for someone to show the foresight to pick up this film for US distribution, we have four new pictures from the film. The first is Heath Ledger as Tony, a young man who finds himself caught in the middle of a struggle between Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and the Devil (Tom Waites). The second is Lily Cole as the China doll-like Valentina, daughter of Parnassus. The final two photos feature Plummer as Parnassus, with Gilliam giving direction in the final shot. (Click on any picture for a larger version.)





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