The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Poster


Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law gave all the income they received for this movie to Heath Ledger's daughter Matilda so that her economic future would be secure.
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According to Terry Gilliam, the last line Heath Ledger spoke for filming on the set was "Don't shoot the messenger." When Johnny Depp filmed his role after Ledger's death, Depp asked Gilliam if he could try a new ad-lib: "Don't shoot the messenger", unaware that Ledger had improvised an identical line. Gilliam was astounded, remarking, "Heath is still out there. Johnny's channeling Heath somehow. I mean, Shirley MacLaine would love all this."
After the death of Heath Ledger, production was shut down for a few months. Then it was re-started when Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell agreed to complete Ledger's role. The film's fantasy premise, and some clever rewrites, let the actors play a man whose appearance changes as he travels between imaginary worlds.
Heath Ledger improvised half of his comedic dialogue on set.
Heath Ledger's last movie project. It is dedicated to him along with William Vince.
Many of the Imaginarium scenes were based on famous paintings. The scene where Parnassus courts his wife was based on Maxfield Parrish and Claude Monet; Jude Law's scene was based on Grant Wood.
In one of the closing scenes, Mr. Nick (the embodiment of Satan in the movie) is shown offering an apple to a group of nuns - an ironic reference to the Biblical story of the Original Sin where the devil, changed into a snake, seduces Eve to taste the Apple of Knowledge and leads to her and Adam's eviction from the Garden of Eden.
The film contains various references to the classic staging of Samuel Beckett's play 'Waiting For Godot' including Tom Waits' black suit and bowler hat and Jude Law dragging a rope noosed around his neck (as does Lucky in the play)
In the first imagination scene, the drunk guy can choose between a café or climbing up 12 stairs, referring to a 12 step program that is used for alcoholics that try to get clean.
The name "Parnassus" in literature typically refers to its distinction as the home of poetry, literature, and learning. Parnassus was also the site of several unrelated minor events in Greek mythology.
According to Terry Gilliam, Tony wears a white suit because he is a "white knight" come to save the Imaginarium.
Throughout the movie the character Percy describes that unanswered telephone ringing drives him crazy. At the end of the credits of the movie, there can be several telephones heard ringing the main score of the movie.
When Tony's cell phone rings, the ring tone is "We Are the Children of the World," a song which is repeated at the end of the film, sung by a children's choir.
Jena Malone, Gemma Arterton, Romola Garai, Abbie Cornish, and Mia Wasikowska all auditioned for the role of Valentina.
One of Tom Waits' most infamous music videos is for his song "God's Away On Business". Waits plays the Devil in this film. In both this film and in the music video, he makes use of a black umbrella.
First Terry Gilliam film since Twelve Monkeys (1995) to be nominated for any Academy Awards. Both films were nominated for two Awards but did not win either. Both were also nominated for Best Costume Design.
The line "That's a child. It's not a choice." echoes the rallying cry of the pro-life lobby.
The first film that Terry Gilliam storyboarded himself since The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).
Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer had previously been in Alexander (2004) and The New World (2005) together.
Dominic Cooper auditioned for the role of Anton.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Administrator Tony's (Heath Ledger's character) staged/faked suicide is at London's Blackfriars bridge which is where Italian banker Roberto Calvi's death happened by similar means.

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