Frequently Asked Questions
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is the brainchild of Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown, writing partners who met while shooting Life of Brian (1979) (1979). Gilliam also directed the movie.
Yes. According to an article (posted below), since two-year-old Matilda was not left with any money from the late Heath Ledger's old will, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell have decided to donate whatever salaries they receive from making this movie to her.
Depp, Law & Farrell's Gift To Ledger's Daughter (16 August 2008 7:15 AM, PDT)
Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell have donated their fee for completing Heath Ledger's final film role to the late star's daughter. The acting trio agreed to play versions of Ledger's character Tony in The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus following his death in January. And they decided to donate their fees to two-year-old Matilda - Ledger's daughter with actress Michelle Williams - because the star left an old will which did not include the little girl. Director Terry Gilliam has praised the actors for their generosity, saying: "They didn't take money - it goes to Heath's daughter. "That's extraordinary! And wonderful... and when you're part of that, you think, "Ah, this is maybe why I went into the movies in the beginning. I thought it would be full of wonderful people." And we've got a movie full of wonderful people who did extraordinary things to help.
The answer to this can be found in Terry Gilliam's introduction to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus on DVD and Blu-ray disc. The main reason behind this is the death of Heath Ledger. Here are Gilliam's words:
The loss of Heath Ledger was such a blow that it was a kind of a test of everybody involved in this film. Whether, in these kinds of incredibly difficult circumstances, we could continue and make a film worthy of Heath's last movie. And I think because of so many people, so many people who loved him, respected him, we pulled it off. It's also why I couldn't put a credit that was contractual on the film. And the contractual credit was, "A film by Terrry Gilliam." And I couldn't do that. I just didn't think that was right. And so one night, the cast and some of the crew were all gathered in Vancouver, toasting Heath, and saying, "What are we gonna do? What are we gonna call it?" And we all agreed to call it, "A film from Heath Ledger & Friends." And I think it's truly the honest, accurate, and right credit. Forget contracts, for once let the truth speak.