Speculation that Terry Gilliam’s upcoming film The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus would be permanently shut down following the death of Heath Ledger, one of the film’s leads, or that his work would be discarded and scenes refilmed are apparently turning out to be, thankfully, false.
The film’s website launched this afternoon, featuring a photo of Ledger and castmate Lily Cole. So far, the main page is all that is there, though one can expect it to develop further as the production continues and heads ultimately towards release.
The question still remains how will the film continue on without Ledger. Although not officially confirmed yet, it is now accepted that the work Ledger had completed will remain in the film while a different actor or actors will portray his character in the several sequences remaining to be shot. Fortunately, these segments concerned Ledger’s character falling through a magic mirror in the titular Imaginarium, where he confronts several things about himself that he’d rather not confront. The thought is that as his character passes into this magical realm inside the mirror, his outward appearance would change as well, allowing the other actor(s) to complete his performance.
Word on who might be cast and when production should start up again should probably be announced within a few days.