Last Unseen Film Starring River Phoenix Might Finally Get Released
Director George Sluizer (the man behind both the original and American remake of The Vanishing starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland) has kept the final performance of the late River Phoenix under lock and key for quite awhile. That is until now. The Dutch director of Dark Blood, who hid the footage of the film after Phoenix tragically died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 with only 11 days left in production, has stated that he has since re-edited the film with plans on releasing it next year. However, Phoenix's performance will need some ADR, a task that will use the voice of Joaquin Phoenix to help.
“The voices of both brothers are very much alike,” Sluizer told THR. I'm sure this won't be a roadblock for the film's eventual release, considering that the director has stayed close with the Phoenix family, not to mention that I imagine they would want to support something that would allow the world finally see the last performance from a great young actor tragically taken before he had even begun to show what he was capable of. However, you may recall that, after the actor's death, the film's producers attempted to sue his mother for $6 million when the film could not be finished (they cited that Phoenix did not declare his drug use for insurance purposes). That lawsuit was later dropped. Hopefully, any grudges were too.
Written by Jim Barton, Dark Blood stars Phoenix as Boy "a youthful widower who lives as a hermit on a nuclear testing site, waiting for the end of the world while making dolls that he believes have magical powers. He comes to the aid of a couple (played by Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis) when their car breaks down as they are traveling through the desert." This news coincidentally comes as we near the 18th anniversary of Phoenix's untimely death upon us this Halloween.