Brittany Murphy's final film to be released

Something Wicked, which was completed just before the star's death in 2009, is to have a belated premiere

• Brittany Murphy: obituary

The late Brittany Murphy's final movie is to debut on the big screen more than four years after filming was completed, according to the New York Daily News.

Something Wicked's writer and producer, Joe Colleran, said the low-budget thriller would screen in Eugene, Oregon, near to locations where it was shot in 2009, on 4 April. He said editors had taken special care to present Murphy's final performance to filmgoers in the best format possible.

"It is an additional responsibility; you do want her performance to be the best it can be, because unfortunately it's her last performance," Colleran told the newspaper. "The first months of reviewing the footage and starting to put things together and then seeing her and hearing her voice, it's very emotional. It has been an extremely protracted process, but here we are."

Something Wicked is described as an R-rated psychological thriller (equivalent to 15 in the UK) about a couple forced to confront dark secrets from their past. It stars Shantel VanSanten and John Robinson in the lead roles, with Murphy listed among the supporting cast. The film, from director Darin Scott, had a budget of $3m.

Colleran described Murphy's performance in the film as "chilling". He said: "She just hit it out of the park. You can see why she was a celebrity and a star."

Murphy, who specialised in playing disturbed young women in a series of films that came to echo her own troubled life, died of a heart attack aged 32 in December 2009. The coroner concluded that pneumonia was the cause of death, with "anemia and prescription drugs [playing] a role". Her husband, Simon Monjack, died five months later, also of natural causes.

In November last year Murphy's biological father Angelo Bertolotti flagged up a toxicology report he commissioned which suggested his daughter may in fact have been "poisoned by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent". However, the actor's mother Sharon Murphy later rubbished suggestions of foul play and accused her former partner of planning to exploit the late actor's death for his own personal gain.

The New York Daily News suggests Something Wicked could appear in other US cinemas following its Oregon screening.

• Brittany Murphy: a career in clips


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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