The Heath Ledger Fantasy Thriller On Streaming That’s Being Forgotten

By April Ryder | Updated

Heath Ledger and Matt Damon in The Brothers Grimm

Heath Ledger (Jake in The Brothers Grimm on Paramount+) left a lasting impression on movie-goers before his death in 2008. His role as The Joker in The Dark Knight was his last (completed role), and his portrayal of the disturbed antagonist was almost supernatural. 

Though he is certainly one of the greats, Heath Ledger’s role alongside Matt Damon in The Brothers Grimm is a part of his history that seems to get a little less action from fans.

Other Heath Ledger movies like A Knight’s Tale and The Patriot are also excellent examples of the actor’s brilliant work on screen, and his last movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus bore witness to just how loved he was among his Hollywood peers. 

Though he is certainly one of the greats, Heath Ledger’s role alongside Matt Damon in The Brothers Grimm is a part of his history that seems to get a little less action from fans. However, the movie’s visual effects and consistently engaging entertainment certainly fall in line with the quality you would expect from a Ledger movie. 

The Brothers Grimm is a fantasy adventure movie. It was directed by Tony Gilliam and released in theaters in 2005. The original spec script for the movie was sold to MGM in 2001, but Gilliam and Tony Grisoni rewrote the script. Interestingly enough, the Writers Guild of America has since refused to credit the two for their work on the script. 

The Brothers Grimm

The movie took quite a while to finish, and MGM dropped out as distributor along the way. Eventually, Dimension Films took over the distribution of the movie, and The Brothers Grimm was finally released in August 2005. Though the movie was met with mixed reviews from critics, it grossed more than $105 million in theaters around the world. 

The story of Heath Ledger’s The Brothers Grimm follows the path of two brothers, Will (Matt Damon) and Jake (Heath Ledger), who use their knowledge of folklore to trick folks into paying them to extinguish various “monsters” along the way. The film takes place in French-occupied Germany during the beginning of the 19th century. 

Heath Ledger almost had a different co-star as director Terry Gillam wanted Johnny Depp as Will instead of Matt Damon.

After being introduced to a French General, Delatombe, the brothers are given the objective to help the people of a small village nearby. The villagers of Marbaden are having trouble as the village’s young girls keep going missing. 

The villagers are convinced that dark forces are at work, and they want the brothers to get to the bottom. Delatombe knows that Matt Damon and Heath Ledger’s characters are nothing more than a couple of frauds, but he thinks they are wiley enough to figure out who is at the helm of this latest scheme. 

Heath Ledger in The Brothers Grimm

As they investigate the situation, the brothers quickly find out that they’re actually battling a real supernatural force. A beautiful, dangerous Thuringian Queen is snatching young girls from the village and using their life force to restore her youth and beauty. 

The adventure amps up when Jake (Heath Ledger) and Will (Matt Damon) take action to try and locate and stop the witch from completing her youthful incantations. The centuries-old witch needs 12 young girls to restore the beauty of her youth. She has already captured 10 girls from the local village, and she only needs two more to finish her spell. Jake and Will must work fast to thwart her evil endeavors and save the day. 

Viewers get drawn into a world of magic and fairy tales. The brothers encounter a raging werewolf with a magic axe, trees that have a mind of their own, and a slew of other creatures in the forest along their path. 

Heath Ledger was a star on the rise when he filmed The Brothers Grimm, which might be his most often overlooked film.

One of the more interesting facts about the movie is that the director, Tony Gilliam, initially wanted Johnny Depp to play the role of Will. Depp was not cast in the role due to Bob Weinstein’s belief that he was not commercially famous enough to add appeal to the film. Pirates of the Caribbean was released halfway through production of The Brothers Grimm, and Weinstein then had to eat his words. 

Regardless of Gilliam’s casting woes, The Brothers Grimm made everyone involved a nice paycheck, and the movie continues to be a favorite among gothic fantasy lovers. Currently, you can find the Heath Ledger movie streaming on Paramount+ with a subscription to the channel. It has a “PG-13” rating, and the movie is just two minutes shy of a two-hour runtime.