Anyone notice that EW wrote their version of their version of the "Will 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' Ever Come Out?" People either missed it (because it published online a few days after it went into print and bloggers forgot) or they simply ignored it because it didn't really move the conversation forward past what the trades had already posited — i.e., the film was potentially too difficult, the buyers had lost interest and no one was really stepping up to distribute the Terry Gilliam-directed film.
The only quote that speaks out to us is this one about the bizarre screenplay. "The script isn't a slam dunk,'' says one acquisitions executive. ''Having Heath in it is appealing. But I'm waiting to see the movie.'' We're probably going to go blue in the face, repeating ourselves here, but yes, having read the problematic script, we can agree and see why there's hesitation. It is not a slam dunk at all.
We digress. The second page has an interesting tidbit we've never seen before. Ledger directed a Modest Mouse video that never saw the day of light.
Ledger was in London directing an as-yet-unreleased Modest Mouse video for when he dropped by Gilliam's offices and saw some early storyboards for Parnassus. Though he'd previously been noncommittal about the project, he decided on the spot he wanted to be a part of it. ''It was a lovely surprise,'' Gilliam said.Ledger isn't new to music videos, he had already directed clips for N'fa, Ben Harper and Nick Drake (and he once aspired to tell the story cinematically of the dour British folk singer who died of an purported pill-induced suicide)
In April of 2007, Brock talked about the collaboration before it happened and explains why the video has never seen the day of light — it's from a song that was never released called, "King Rat." Apparently its status is still unknown.
"We started working on some lower budget videos for seven or eight other songs. Heath Ledger’s been wanting to do a video for one of the songs that didn’t make it on the record, "King Rat." Terry Gilliam is going to help animate it. Heath and I have a mutual friend and when we were in Australia, my fiancé and some of us in the band went out on a boat with him and his family and friends and talked about the idea. He’s got a video production company and was interested in working on something. We were talking back and forth for a while. The idea seemed sort of dropped, but then he just sent me an email saying that he wanted to do it. And I love me some Terry Gilliam. I hope it works out and I don’t sound like a f*cking liar at the end of this."We're sure part of the problem is Modest Mouse wouldn't want to exploit Ledger's video to get attention. Will it ever come out? Will we see it? Did Gilliam ever animate it? Here's the song in question, almost assuredly — gulp, we hope — not directed by Heath Ledger (fan made it would appear).