Heath Ledger's death gave The Dark Knight some buzz, though for tragic reasons. But the makers of Ledger's final movie, Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, are concerned that even rumors of an Oscar nomination for the deceased actor can't help their movie find a US distributor.According to The Hollywood Reporter, potential distributors drawn in by the publicity aspect of releasing Ledger's last film quickly find themselves pushed away again by Gilliam's involvement. The director, famous for scifi great Brazil, hasn't had a successful movie since 1995's Twelve Monkeys. One distributor is quoted as saying, "In this market, unless I have a reason to think a movie like this is going to be a slam dunk I'm not going to take a flyer on it, even with Heath Ledger." The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus involves parallel worlds, regeneration and deals with the devil — and Ledger's role in the movie will likely be taken over by Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law. But even that isn't enough to guarantee the movie a deal, apparently:
The prospect of getting involved with three marketable stars makes for a relative bargain for a buyer, who might pay low-seven figures for domestic rights but get an eight-figure level of promotable talent. But even that troika might not be enough. Said one longtime distribution guru: "For all the elements in this film, it is a Terry Gilliam picture, and as much as you want a movie of his to be good, you have to be careful."
Heath Ledger's final movie a tough sell [Hollywood Reporter]