Hyping Joker – Warner sente o pulso de Heath Ledger

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) — “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” declares Aaron Eckhart in the forthcoming Warner Bros. summer blockbuster “Batman: The Dark Knight.”

Unfortunately, in the case of his co-star Heath Ledger, both possibilities came true simultaneously. And because of that, some rather intense marketing headaches developed for Warner Bros.

After the Oscar-nominated Mr. Ledger was found dead from an accidental prescription-drug overdose Jan. 22, he was lionized by the public and press as having been heroically fearless in his choice of roles — and, at 28, taken far too young. But not, of course, before he had chosen to play one of pop culture’s most iconic villains, the clown-faced, schizophrenic mass murderer the Joker, in “The Dark Knight.”

His passing left studio executives with a conundrum not experienced since James Dean died before the release of 1955′s “Giant”: How to market around Mr. Ledger’s death without sacrificing the $200 million picture or appearing crassly exploitative.

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