Gilliam’s Imaginarium

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus Being the Woody Allen of bold, deeply disturbing dark fantasy and science fiction, writer/director Terry Gilliam usually manages to wrangle himself a relatively impressive cast despite the comparatively little pay and far less than mainstream subject matter. The film he’s currently prepping, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS, is no different. He’s landed Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Lily Cole and Verne Troyer to help him realize this latest fantasy opus. Here’s a very detailed, almost spoilery plot synopsis for you to peruse, courtesy of Phil and his excellent Gilliam fansite “Dreams”:

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day.

It tells the story of Dr Parnassus (Plummer) and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick (Waits), in which he won immortality.

Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina (Cole) is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls.

Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all…

We all done digesting that, then? Phil of the aforementioned “Dreams” also managed to get ahold of the first artwork from the film, part of which you can see to the right and all of which you can see HERE. The film’s scheduled for release in 2009, if, of course, the dreaded Gilliam Death of Production curse doesn’t rare it’s ugly head. Thanks to Andrea for the heads up!

Source: Dreams

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