Johnny Depp to Fill in for Heath Ledger on Dr. Parnassus?

January 25, 2008

Johnny Depp and Terry Gilliam

Actor Heath Ledger, who was found dead earlier this week, was six weeks away from finishing Terry Gilliam's fantasy film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Early reports from sources on the set of the film were saying that production had been shut down and the crew was being fired. However, a contradictory report from The Sun says that Gilliam wants Johnny Depp to fill in for Ledger from this point forward. None of this is officially confirmed and should only be taken as a rumor at the moment.

Heath's death was incredibly tragic and came as a huge shock to the entire world. His work as the Joker in The Dark Knight was entirely finished, but the fate of Gilliam's $30 million film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which had been shooting with Ledger since December, is still officially unknown. Ledger was on a break from the set when he was found dead. Us Magazine reported a scoop from a crew member saying that "everyone was being let go" and that "they don't know yet what they are doing with the footage that was already shot."

An update from The Sun arrived earlier today with the report that Johnny Depp might fill in for Ledger from this point forward on the film. As to how this could be possible without re-shooting everything previously, an anonymous source involved with the film explains.

"There is a point in the film when Heath falls through a magic mirror. He could change into another character after that and that is where Johnny would come in. It's a weird, fantasy, time-travel movie so Heath's character could easily change appearance. It would be a poignant moment. Johnny's not working at the moment so everyone is praying he will do it."

Both of these reports have come from sources related to the film, but not actual producers. As of this moment, the producers on the film haven't released any statements. Both reports seem to contradict - one says the film is being shut down, the other says that Depp will fill in and it will continue shooting in Vancouver as planned. Terry Gilliam and Johnny Depp have worked together beforehand on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a movie that was canceled mid-production.

Take all of these reports as unconfirmed rumors at the moment, and once an official statement is released, we'll be sure to update you. Ledger's death is very tragic and we hope that his legacy can still continue on, including his work in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Find more posts: Movie News, Rumors



How about this Terry Gilliam...seriously...the poor guy can't catch a break. Not to belittle heath Ledger, but after what happened with Gilliam's Depp-led Don's to hoping Depp steps into this one and the movie gets finished...and here's to hoping that it's good. On a side note, thanks for the Sleep Dealer review. Seeing as how you gave Cloverfield at least a 9 and There Will Be Blood under 5, looks like I'll be going to see Sleep Dealer as soon as it's possible. Just kidding...but not really.

brian on Jan 25, 2008


Yeah, not to trivialize the tragedy of Heath's death, but Terry Gilliam's films always seem to get hit with unforeseen problems - from the bizarre to the tragic. As for the rumors, hopefully the 2nd one is true and they can continue filming.

Micah on Jan 25, 2008


That sounds like a great idea. I hope Johnny agrees to finish this film. He seems like a really cool, down to earth guy & you know he is one of few that can convincingly pull it off. If Terry Gilliam can show Depp that they can successfully edit the film, I think he would be flattered to finish this movie for Heath Ledger, who was incredibly talented, as well as for Gilliam & the crew.

Sinner on Jan 26, 2008


Only a visionary like Terry Gilliam and his offbeat style could pull this off. With almost any other director or production this wouldn't be possible. Let's hope that the rumors are true and the final product is as cool as we all expect it to be.

Voicedude on Jan 27, 2008


Okay, does anyone know anything? The Dark Knight is FINISHED. Ledger got all his work done, it is now in post-production. There is no need for any fill ins. The article was about The Joker is future Batman films, I believe.

angela on Jan 28, 2008


Angela, I hate to be the one to point out the obvious but we are talking about Dr. Parnassus. Not Dark Knight.

Sinner on Jan 29, 2008


You know what? You're right LOL.

angela on Feb 3, 2008


I love Heath Ledger, but I love Johnny Depp a lot more. I known him longer. That don't matter though, cuz as an extremely obsessed fan such as myself, I would love to see Johnny Depp play that role. Him and ledger were best freinds, and I belive that Ledger would even hope that Johnny would play the role for him as well as anyone else. Either way that movie should be finshed. It's ok though It's all up to Johnny, and we all can hope,, but Johnny chooses. I miss you heath, but go Johnny!!!!

Amber on Jan 5, 2009


One more thing, I know Johnny from inside and out, and I know htta he is like hte only actor to ever pull an amazing part off. The only other actor I know who can do the same is Ledger, and put those facts togeta you get one amazing film. So I believe that Johnny can and should. So cross your fingers for johnny!!!!

Amber on Jan 5, 2009


Johnny Depp is so good.. He is one of my two main idols that I will always love and stand by

Alfonso Higaneda on Oct 1, 2010

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