Robin Williams brought joy to countless fans as one of the world’s funniest, most original comedians. But his final days were a “roller coaster of hope and despair,” according to a trailer for new documentary film Robin’s Wish, in which his widow and his colleagues examine the little-known brain disease revealed to be the source of his torment only after he died.
Williams died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63. In the film, those who knew him well call him a “genius” and a “warrior,” but sensed “something eroding within him.” After his death his family learned his anxiety and mental health strains were caused by neurodegenerative disorder Lewy Body Dementia.
The film explores this condition and the pain it caused Williams. It’s out on demand Sept. 1, 2020.
The comedian’s widow, Susan Schneider Williams, chose the film’s title to reflect his legacy. “We had been discussing what we wanted our legacies to be in life,” she explains in a statement. “When it was our time to go, how we wanted to have made people feel. Without missing a beat, Robin said, ‘I want to help people be less afraid.'”
She approached director Tylor Norwood to make the film. Initially resistant, Norwood hopes the film sets the record straight about Williams’ final days, helping viewers “understand the pain he felt as his talents and faculties rapidly slipped away … how in the face of that terrifying reality, he was more heroic, more compassionate than any character he ever played in any of his movies. So I hope this film rights a wrong that was done to him, and takes away a cloud that has unjustly hung over his legacy for far too long.”
Fellow stars also paid tribute to Williams in a 2018 HBO documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.