Heath Ledger’s Modest Mouse Video

Modest Mouse has plans to release a music video directed by the late Heath Ledger for “King Rat,” a bonus track from 2007’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

Isaac Brock, frontman for the indie rock band, told VH1 back in spring 2007 Ledger wanted to do a video for “King Rat” and that Terry Gilliam (who directed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Twelve Monkeys) was going to help animate it.

Photo: Jason Moore
House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Brock said he and Ledger shared a mutual friend and the idea was tossed around when he, his fiancee and some of the band were hanging out on a boat in Australia with Ledger and his friends and family.

“[Ledger’s] got a video production company and was interested in working on something,” he told VH1. “We were talking back and forth for a while. The idea seemed sort of dropped, but then he just sent me an email saying that he wanted to do it. And I love me some Terry Gilliam. I hope it works out and I don’t sound like a f***ing liar at the end of this.”

A recent Entertainment Weekly article noted that in 2007 Ledger was in London directing an as-yet-unreleased video for the band when he met up with Gilliam to look at storyboards for the film “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” Before Ledger finished filming Gilliam’s surreal movie, he died in January 2008 because of an overdose on a cocktail of prescription drugs.

Modest Mouse hasn’t commented on the video since Ledger’s untimely death but the band has confirmed it will release it “soon,” according to a spokesperson, as reported by the U.K.’s Guardian.

Music blog The Playlist noted that Ledger had already directed clips for N’fa, Ben Harper and Nick Drake.

L.A. Weekly blog reported that Heath Ledger also directed “Quicksand,” a cover of a David Bowie song by Australian singer Grace Woodroofe. It was shot in February 2006 and debuted at the Marfa Film Festival last May.

After wrapping up a round of dates on Sunday, Modest Mouse is performing tomorrow night on “Late Show With David Letterman.”

** UPDATE ** 

We have now learned that the music video was not animated by Gilliam. A representative for Modest Mouse told MTV News the video was animated by Norris Houk III along with Jade Taglioli. Daniel Auber, who MTV noted is a concept designer and frequent collaborator of Gilliam, illustrated the piece.

Read the VH1 interview here.

Read the Playlist article here.

Read the Guardian article here.

Read the Entertainment Weekly article here.

Read the MTV article here.