It's the final film of a new Oscar winner whose most recent movie grossed over a billion dollars worldwide — so why is The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus still without an American distribution deal? Because apparently the attachment of hapless director Terry Gilliam is just that toxic! Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business blog reports that a U.S. theatrical release for Heath Ledger's last-ever movie is still an open question, despite six months of talks.
Negotiations with Lionsgate and Overture have purportedly fallen through, and even though the movie also stars Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law — who took over Ledger's role after he died halfway through production, something that could only possibly make sense onscreen in a Terry Gilliam movie — there's not yet been a sale. All of this is fueling rumors, says HR, of "dissent over finances on the producers' side to outsized expectations on the part of filmmakers" (neither of which would probably surprise anybody, were they to be true).
HR says a deal is still expected to happen soon, but, according to their source, "it's no accident that it's taking this long." Which we hope just means that Gilliam's name is a tough thing for a marketer to capitalize on these days, instead of that Parnassus will be as bad as Tideland.
The side of the Ledger: What happens to Heath's next movie? [Risky Business/HR]