A full trailer has recently appeared online for Terry Gilliam's latest fantasy flick, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The film stars the late Heath Ledger as Tony, a "mysterious outsider" who, along with a dwarf named Percy (Verne Troyer) and a magician named Anton (Andrew Garfield), helps to save the daughter (Lily Cole) of the immortal Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) from the Devil (Tom Waits). Yep, you read that right.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was just one of many films that made an appearance at Comic-Con this year, and Terry Gilliam and Verne Troyer were there to show off some clips from the movie, as well as give us some new info on the plot/characters. At the panel, Gilliam funnily said that the clips are of the "boring bits" as he believes trailers shouldn't give away the best parts of the movie.
Truer words have rarely been spoken, sir!
The full trailer for the movie also gives us a real (albeit quick) look at Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, who were cast to portray Ledger's many magical personas after the actor sadly passed away back in January of 2008 (yes, it really has been that long). Ledger finished filming all the real-world stuff, but didn't film that much (if any) of the fantasy world scenes since he passed away during the movie's principal shoot. It looks like Gilliam has found an excellent way of incorporating the trio of new actors - they're actually done up so well to look like the way Ledger does that I actually had to look twice to see it was a different actor.
Check out the trailer below, courtesy of Yahoo:
Does anyone else think they handled the advertising of Ledger in the film really well? I was quite worried that they were going to play up the fact that it's his final performance (that's right, his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight wasn't his last), but I'm glad to see that they advertise the fact he's an Oscar winner and don't even mention the final performance thing. You don't need to point something like that out, and it would have been wrong to do so simply to sell more tickets.
Apart from giving us a look at Depp, Farrell and Law (as well as Tom Waits as the Devil), this trailer for Doctor Parnassus also gives us more of a glimpse into Gilliam's fantastic imagination, which has been put on display throughout his career. This looks to be akin in set design and tone to Time Bandits and Tideland, more than Twelve Monkeys or The Fisher King. I like that the trailer only hints at what the true nature of the movie will be, as opposed to trying to cram the full explanation into 90-odd seconds.
As I always say: giving away too much in a trailer is a mistake.
I was anticipating this movie ever since it was brought up as an idea by Gilliam, and to be honest I'm biased pre-disposed to look forward to any new film he makes. But watching Ledger in this trailer is sad for one huge reason: It's never going to happen again.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus currently has a UK release date of October 16, 2009. There's unconfirmed word going around that a Christmas Day release date has been put in place for a U.S. release. The film is set to play at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.