The 90-minute documentary "I Am Heath Ledger" premieres on Spike TV this May 17.
I Am Heath Ledger
Credit: Spike

More than nine years since the death of Heath Ledger, a new documentary explores the life of the promising star through his own lens.

In the trailer for Spike TV and Network Entertainment’s I Am Heath Ledger, filmmaker Derik Murray (I Am Chris Farley) offers an intimate portrait of the actor using never-before-seen home videos shot by Ledger. “He was always a director, acting was just a way to get there,” Trevor DiCarlo, a childhood friend, says in the preview.

I Am Heath Ledger will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23 before hitting select theaters on May 3. The documentary will then air on Spike TV Wednesday, May 17 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by digital and DVD releases on May 23.

The film explores Ledger’s Hollywood rise with roles in 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight, Monster’s Ball, and more. Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, director Ang Lee, and Ledger’s family and friends are some of the interviewed subjects.

“He wanted fame, and then when he got it, he didn’t want it,” filmmaker Matt Amato says.

Ledger was 28 when he died in January 2008 after a mixture of prescription drugs. He was previously the subject of the docuseries Too Young to Die, available to watch now on Netflix, in which his father, Kim Ledger, revealed pages of his Joker diary.

“He pretty well locked himself up in a hotel, in his apartment, for a month or so, to sort of galvanize the upcoming character in his own mind,” Kim said. “That was typical of Heath on any movie. He would certainly immerse himself in the upcoming character. I think this was just a whole new level.”

Watch the trailer for I Am Heath Ledger above.