It’s been nearly a decade since his death, but Heath Ledger’s story is still being told.
The actor’s life will be the subject of a new Spike TV documentary, I Am: Heath Ledger, to air in May 2017.
The Australian-born actor, who starred in Brokeback Mountain, 10 Things I Hate About You, and A Knight’s Tale, among others, died in 2008 of an accidental prescription overdose.
His untimely death, paired with the imminent release of The Dark Knight, which he went on to posthumously win Best Supporting Actor for, sparked a global media frenzy.
His twisted take on the quintessential Batman villain redefined the character for Christopher Nolan’s superhero film. When Ledger died months before the film’s release, his death was the most-reported entertainment story of the year.
Police investigations into his death saw that Ledger had turned his ‘immaculate’ New York apartment into a shrine to the Joker, where dozens of Batman comics, books, clown figures and recordings of himself practising his ‘Joker voice’ were found, according to The New York Post.
When Ledger spoke to Empire Online in November 2007, he said:
I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts.
And now his film career – and undoubtedly his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Batman film – will be told through interviews with the actor’s inner circle.
While there’s no word yet on a specific day when I Am: Heath Ledger will air, Spike’s upcoming documentary will chronicle Ledger’s film career as one of the most compelling actors of his generation.