Heath Ledger’s highly anticipated last film, the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, is having an inordinate amount of trouble landing a US distributor, reports Steven Zeitchik in the Hollywood Reporter. Over the summer, Lionsgate, Overture, and others were lining up for the rights, but since then things have hit a standstill. Rumors abound, alternately attributing the delay to filmmakers' grandiose expectations or financial dissent among producers.
Ledger’s death gives Parnassus a marketing hook that should drive up the price—a lucky strike since the indie movie’s budget reportedly tops $20 million. But distributors worry that director Terry Gilliam’s work has grown too experimental for mainstream audiences. Still, sources expect a deal soon. “This movie stars Heath Ledger in his final performance—it will get a deal,” said one indie veteran. “But it’s no accident that it’s taking this long.”