According to Christopher Plummer, who spoke with People magazine recently, Gilliam is “throwing himself into the job of trying to salvage the picture” in the wake of star Heath Ledger‘s death. Rumors have suggested that Gilliam would finish the film by having different actors play Ledger’s role at different points in the story, something Plummer seems to confirm before suggesting more high-tech methods:
“[Gilliam is] trying to work out at this moment how to continue on. Fortunately, because the film deals with magic, there is a way, perhaps, of turning Heath into other people and then, using stills and I think they call it CGI.”
Plummer also confirmed rumors that Ledger hadn’t been feeling well in the weeks leading up to his death, telling People that he believed the “horrible, damp nights” on the Parnassus set may have led to the actor contracting walking pneumonia to go with his insomnia:
“He was saying all the time, ‘dammit, I can’t sleep’…and he was taking all these pills [to help him].”
Despite the difficult working conditions, Plummer said Ledger “was in very high spirits” and “enjoying himself tremendously,” and told People he believes his co-star would have wanted the show to go on.