Thursday, January 24, 2008

RE: Heath Ledger's death: "I told him so." - Jack Nicholson

In my post on Heath Ledger's death, I wrote: "Waiting in the wings is the actor's turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight, the film some people are invariably going to blame for killing Ledger should his death be linked to drugs or alcohol."

Well, sure enough, it happened.

From IMDB:

Jack Nicholson has hinted he warned tragic Heath Ledger against taking on the role of The Joker in the new Batman film. Ledger, 28 - who was declared dead at 3:30pm at his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday - publicly declared himself exhausted and sleep deprived in November following the grueling shoot for The Dark Knight. He also revealed in an interview with the New York Times he'd resorted to taking sleeping pills - an overdose of which is believed to be the cause of his death - in a desperate bid to catch up on rest. And Nicholson, who famously portrayed the menacing Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 movie Batman, implied to the waiting crowd outside plush London restaurant The Wolesley on Tuesday night he spoke to Ledger about his role in The Dark Knight - and warned him about the pitfalls of taking on such a demanding challenge. When asked by the London crowds for his reaction to Ledger's untimely demise, a defeated Nicholson simply replied, "I told him so." Batman Begins prequel The Dark Knight is due to be released in July.

It's ridiculous that the press would seek comment from Jack Nicholson on the death of Heath Ledger. It's not like they were ever close. I mean they never did a movie together. And Nicholson never mentored Ledger or anything like that.

At any rate, WB better get cracking on finding the best way to market The Dark Knight now that one of its stars are dead. From now until July 17th, the studio must figure out how to market the film in a way that will both honor Ledger's death but not make it the entire focus of the film. One false step, and the entire project could bare the stink of a tragic, untimely demise -- something that could turn moviegoers off when looking for popcorn entertainment next summer.


Anonymous Jay K. said...

Nicholson's Joker was easily forgettable as it was more "Jack wearing facepaint" than the actual DC character. Heck, Cesar Romero's Joker was more Convincing!!

Heath Ledger was good peoples. It's a shame one of the Good Ones left us so early.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

All I have to say is, Excuses, Excuses. I HIGHLY doubt that role caused his death. He was said to have been disturbed by it. Ok. Fine. Then why the fuck do you take it?!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Bcrone said...

He had already finished filming the "dark KNight" and was already doing shoots for anohter film in London! Playing the Joker had nothing to do with his death, that is just idiodic

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Landsgirl said...

I just hope his death focuses some attention on the very real issue of insomnia. I know lots of people in stressful jobs who mix prescription drugs just to get some rest. Sometimes, just a sleeping pill by itself doesn't work. Insomnia is a very real problem that needs to be addressed by the medical community.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Joe Scott said...

Wow. I was so busy writing and planning today's radio program that I had no idea so many people posted replies yesterday.

To Jay: I agreed with what you said about Nicholson's Joker. And yes, Heath was good peoples indeed. I just wish he had taken inventory of everything he had in his life (i.e., a kid, success, money, etc.) and taken some time out to enjoy his life. Something tells me we could have avoided this entire grim episode if he had.

To Jenny: I don't think the role caused Ledger's death either. Seems to me the decision that might have hurt Ledger the most was to go straight into The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus without any downtime from The Dark Knight. Making a nocturnal superhero flick means doing a lot of all-night shoots, and he should have fixed his schedule where he was allowed to get some rest, spend time with his family, etc.

To bcrone: You're right. They finished filming The Dark Knight months ago. I hope more people have that realization before it's official that "The movie killed Heath Ledger," but with all the misinformation spread by gossip-crazy entertainment journalists, I doubt it.

To landsgirl: I hope this tragedy helps shine a light on how the medical community's 'a pill fer all your problems' approach to life doesn't always work. No pill can compensate for the fact that Ledger went straight into shooting another flick after his work on TDK was complete. He should have gotten some rest.

6:54 AM  
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3:54 AM  

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