It happens all the time. A big name star dies and then of course magically (it seems) they have one more film or album “in the can”.
Whitney Houston died recently. Of course Sparkle came out after her death. I bet the movie studio slapped themselves on the back for managing this one. Presumably they made more money than expected because Houston graced the screen for one last time here.
But it happens all the time to actors and celebrities that die prematurely. Heath Ledger died quite unexpectedly and tadah, The Dark Knight manages to be finished without him still being alive. Critics heaped praise on Ledger’s performance and no surprise, The Dark Knight made money hand over fist.
And of course mega star Michael Jackson just happened to have the album Michael able to be released after his death. And just to prove what a money making machine he was, the Immortal tour which is kind of a singing show of Micheal Jackson’s songs and kind of a Cirque du Soleil touring monstrosity, is still touring around making much money for Jackson’s estate.
If I were a big star I would superstitiously make sure every appearance I made and every song I’d performed had been released as soon as possible. Having “one in the can” seems to be a way to court death.
And just think how much money it means to the studio or label to be able to release one or two movies or albums. Certain celebrities might be considered to be worth more dead than alive. It might be frowned upon but the studio or label might actually do the calculation. What happens if the numbers stack up to them in such a way they think the celebrity is worth more dead?
The studios/labels have been careful up to this point. Usually there is a story behind the death that gets agreed upon that keeps suspicion away from them. Do they perform “drive by druggings”? Maybe they are much more subtle and do intensive psychological testing on the celebrity and then introduce them to an undesirable that might bring about their death.
So it’s just simplest to never have anything “in the can”. That always points the calculation away from killing the celebrity. That’s what I’d always do if I were a big star.