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River Phoenix's last film could be coming to a screen near you

The late actor’s last film, Dark Blood, finally gets a theatrical release

By Jamie Khoo | Published: 3 Jun 2014

Video: The Hollywood Reporter

More than 20 years after River Phoenix passed away from a drug overdose, aged 23, the last movie he was working on is now set for theatrical release.

The uncompleted footage for Dark Blood was held on to by director George Sluizer for more than a decade and because only about 65% of the movie had been shot, the story had to be rewritten in parts. It was recently announced at the Cannes Film Festival that rights to the movie have now been sold by Cinemavault to Lionsgate.

No firm date has been set yet, but the movie has already opened in Japan and dates for releases in other nations will be announced soon. In this film, River acts as a young widower living in the middle of a desert who meets a Hollywood couple when they show up near his land by accident. He then holds them hostage in an attempt to recreate a better life for himself. A quick look at a trailer for the movie reveals some pretty intense acting – but then, we couldn’t expect anything less. Joaquin Phoenix’s elder brother River was widely known for the immense talent he brought to his movies, even at such a young age.

An unfinished version of the film, edited by Sluizer, was premiered two years ago at the Netherlands Film Festival 2012 and has since done the festival circuit – including Berlin, Moscow and Sao Paolo – but a theatrical release will avail the movie to more film buffs and River fans.

Oh yes, our teenage hearts are fluttering.


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