Batman Marketing in Limbo

Ledger's death forces Warner Bros. to reconsider viral campaign
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 12:09 PM CST

(Newser) – Heath Ledger’s untimely death is a major problem for Batman—or, more accurately, his marketing people. Warner Bros. has built an entire advertising campaign for the upcoming Dark Knight installment around Ledger’s Joker performance, a tactic that’s now fairly awkward, the Wall Street Journal reports. Fans have spent months deciphering clues to find pictures of the creepy, makeup-caked visage of the now-dead actor.

Ledger also figures prominently into the trailer, and stands alone on the current poster. Warner Bros. hasn’t said if, or how, it will change efforts, but one rival executive advises leaving it alone. “The best thing that could happen is all this marketing stuff just goes on, and the movie and campaign don’t turn into some kind of weird grave market,” he said.