In the movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Tony, played by Heath Ledger in the real world, is played by three additional actors in the "alternate" world. These actors are: Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.

Were these three additional actors originally intended to be in the film, or were they added after the passing of Heath to fill out the movie so that they could release it?

  • The 2004 Todd Solondz film Palindromes is an example of multiple actors being cast for a single role by design. I'd be quite surprised if Gilliam wasn't aware of Solondz, but I don't know if the earlier film provided any inspiration for saving The Imaginarium.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


No. Multiple actors were not originally intended. The three actors were added after Heath Ledger passed away.

Director Terry Gilliam's initial reaction was that the film wasn't going to be finished or released. However, things worked out and the three actors, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell were added to the production to take place of Heath's character in the "alternate" world.

The three actors were picked specifically for their close ties to Ledger.

Wiki link

  • 3
    He also added in a scene earlier in the film. A punter goes through the imaginarium and comes out with a different face. This was added to help explain the facial differences later.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 20:31
  • Is it not better to include original source rather then Wikipedia, it looks Wikipedia did give source for the information which I can't access in office system.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 13:12

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