River Phoenix's Final Film to Be Released After 18 Years
5:27 AM PDT 10/19/2011 by Ab Zagt
Dutch director George Sluizer to recut original
footage of Dark Blood for release in 2012.
AMSTERDAM Eighteen years after the sudden death
of actor River Phoenix, Dutch director George
Sluizer says he will finish Dark Blood, the 1993
drama that Phoenix was shooting when he died of a
heart attack on Halloween night outside the Viper Room in Los Angeles.
After Phoenix's death, apparently of a drug
overdose, Sluizer took the original Dark Blood
footage and kept it hidden fearing, he says, it
would be destroyed. The director has now
re-edited the material and believes with a few
adjustments using voice over for instance he
can now deliver a final cut of the film for release next year.
Sluizer, mainly known for his acclaimed film
Spoorloos, remade as The Vanishing starring Jeff
Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland, said he plans to
ask Phoenix's brother Joaquin Phoenix to do the
film's voiceover as River's character Boy.
The voices of both brothers are very much
alike, the director, who has stayed in touch
with the Phoenix-family, told THR.
In Dark Blood, Phoenix plays a hermit living in
the desert on a nuclear testing site as he waits
for the end of the world. When a Hollywood
jet-set couple (played by Judy Davis and Jonathan
Pryce) arrives to find shelter, he begins a
troubled relationship with the wife.
Dutch-based production house Eyeworks has come on
board to help Sluizer finish the film and deal
with the legal issues surrounding a release. The
company told THR copyright claims might result in changing the film's title.
Before his sudden death aged 23, River Phoenix
was one of Hollywood's most in-demand young
actors, with starring or supporting roles in
acclaimed films such as Stand By Me, The Mosquito
Coast, My Own Private Idaho and Sneakers. His
role in Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty garnered
him an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination.
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