Director Who Was Working With Heath Ledger Shares New Details About Actor’s Death

Writer-director Stephen Gaghan has revealed new details about the circumstances surrounding actor Heath Ledger’s death. Ledger died in January 2008 following a prescription drug overdose in his New York apartment. He was 28-years-old. Now, years after his death, Mr Gaghan revealed that the actor, who played the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’, died with the script for his film in bed. The Oscar-winning director had been working on an adoption of Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 book ‘Blink’ and wanted to cast Heath Ledger in the lead role.

According to The Independent, the director and writer said that he was told by Heath Ledger’s father, Kim, who had called him after learning of his son’s death, that the script of ‘Blink’ was found at his home. 

Speaking on a podcast, Mr Gaghan said, “They were there with the body and our script was in bed with him, and your book was on the bedside table. I think my number was on the script like written. These guys, as you can imagine, they are in shock and they dialled that number and I don’t know why”. 

“I’m in an airport with my wife, just going from one place to another, and I literally just collapse, never happened to me before or since. My feet went out from under me. I just literally sat down because I was like, what, what?” Mr Gaghan continued. 

“I remember her face and I was just like, I was speechless. I just listened and listened and listened. It was just really, really sad. And it’s still sad,” he added.

Mr Gaghan said that he stopped development on ‘Blink’ after Heath Ledger’s death. 

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Meanwhile, according to The Independent, last month, Christopher Nolan recalled a “complicated and challenging” experience following Heath Ledger’s death while accepting an award at the 2024 Golden Globes. He said that the last time he had been on the Golden Globe stage was in 2009 when he accepted the Best Supporting Actor award on behalf of Heath Ledger, who died the previous year.

Notably, ‘The Dark Knight’ was the last film the actor finished shooting prior to his death. The movie was released six months later. His other movies included ’10 Things I Hate About You’, ‘I’m Not There’, and ‘Brokeback Mountain’.

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