Heath Ledger's final film just got one step closer to hitting a theater near you.
Production on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the fantastical Terry Gilliam-directed movie Ledger was halfway through shooting before his untimely death in January, has resumed. Cameras got rolling again on the Vancouver set Monday.
As previously announced, the not too shabby acting triumvirate of Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law have stepped up to jointly replace Ledger, with each playing an incarnation of the Oscar-nominated actor's original character.
"I am grateful to Johnny, Colin and Jude for coming on board and to everyone else who has made it possible for us to finish the film," Gilliam told the BBC. "I am delighted that Heath's brilliant performance can be shared with the world."
Gilliam added that the film, which he hopes will "touch people's hearts and souls as Heath was able to do," has resumed production "with the blessing and support of Heath Ledger's family."
Ledger died Jan. 22, after his "realistic" scenes had been completed in London, but before his green-screen work was able to begin north of the border.
The replacement thesps will portray different versions of Ledger's original role, something well within the realm of believability in the film, which explores what happens as the main character undergoes physical transformations after stepping through a magic mirror and into parallel worlds.
Producers have already assured fans that all of Ledger's work on the film will be kept intact and that no CGI alterations, as first floated, will be made in the final edit.
"Since the format of the story allows for the preservation of his entire performance, at no point will Heath's work be modified or altered through the use of digital technology," producers William Vince, Amy Gilliam and Samuel Hadida said in a statement. "Each of the parts played by Johnny, Colin and Jude is representative of the many aspects of the character that Heath was playing."
The film is tentatively slated for release in early 2009.