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James Wallace

by: James Wallace
September 4th, 2009


Many thought that, after actor Heath Ledger's untimely passing, Terry Gilliam would have yet another project in peril, as he has been known to before (see THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE). But with a quick stroke of genius, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS was back on track after Gilliam decided that he would not only have one actor take over Ledger's unfinished part, but multiple actors. Their characters would simply change appearance as they passed in and out of different worlds. Gilliam would then be able to finish his film and of course pay homage to his late, great friend.

One of the actors that vied for a role as an alternate transformation of Ledger's character Tony was, in fact, Tom Cruise. Unfortunately for Cruise, Gilliam politely refused, stating that he "was only interested in people who were friends of Heath. Simple as that. I wanted to keep it in the family." Gilliam also added that he was unsure if it was his agents or Tom himself who were keen on the idea of a role, but it was definitely something they were proposing.

The roles instead went to Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, all three of which were friends with Ledger.

Is it still surreal to you that Ledger is gone? Because it definitely is to me.

Source Total Film

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