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Q&A: Marketing Brittany Murphy's Last Film

Brittany Murphy in a scene from "Something Wicked"
Brittany Murphy in a scene from "Something Wicked"Courtesy Merchant Films

Three years after actress Brittany Murphy’s untimely death from pneumonia and anemia in 2009, her final film, an indie thriller called Something Wicked, finally completed post-production this week. The Eugene (Ore.) production company Merchant Films, which is currently seeking a distributor for the film, is caught in the unfortunate position of having to market a film without its most recognizable star. As of now, Merchant does not intend to include Murphy’s image in the main posters, says the movie’s writer and producer, Joe Colleran. Still, he says, many distributors have expressed interest in the past few days, and he is hoping for a spring 2013 release. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke with Colleran about how the filmmakers plan to manage in this difficult situation.

How have you had to change plans to market the film?
We did an original deal with Brillstein Entertainment Partners to represent the movie, and they have relationships with major studios. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the time we delayed it to avoid exploitation. Normally it would be a two-year process. We shot it in Oregon, which takes longer than if you shoot it in Hollywood. The delay has been close to a year.