Spike has unveiled a trailer for their upcoming documentary I Am Heath Ledger, which explores the live of the late actor. Ledger had already appeared in a few TV series in his native Australia - and starred in the short lived American adventure series Roar - before landing the male lead in the romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. He followed that with a series of lead and supporting roles in The Patriot, A Knight's Tale, and Monster's Ball, demonstrating his range and skill as an actor. Ledger was arguably finding his stride as a performer towards the end of his life, earning an Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain and winning a posthumous Academy Award for his chilling turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
At the time of his death, Ledger was only 28 years old. He appeared in a grand total of 18 movies and four TV shows, yet in his short career he left an incredible impression on the world. He was also working on becoming a director, having been behind the camera for several music videos. He was planning on directing his first feature film when he died, an adaption of the Walter Tevis novel The Queen’s Gambit.
Ledger’s short life and career will be the subject of the third I Am documentary on Spike, following I Am Chris Farley and I Am JFK Jr. You can watch the preview above.
The trailer has a lot of footage of Ledger, and not only from his various films. According to what model Christina Cauchi says in the trailer, he always had cameras around to take pictures and video with. Much of the earlier footage of the actor shown does include him holding cameras in his hand, and even recording himself. His childhood friend Trevor DiCarlo explains that he was filming so much because “he was always a director” before the trailer switches from showing Ledger as himself to footage of him in his various roles.
The documentary includes people from both Ledger’s professional and personal lives, including his sister Kate. Those who knew him professionally seem to mostly talk about his skills and the impact he made in movies, whereas the people who knew him before talk more about who Ledger was as a person.
After a montage of footage of Ledger in his home, the trailer focuses on black and white footage of the late actor’s face as he says “Hello. We’re gonna go on a mission right now. Will you come with me? Oh…you will.”
I Am Heath Ledger will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23 and have a limited release in theaters May 3 before airing on Spike May 17.