The 1993 death of River Phoenix is part of young Hollywood’s dark lore — Phoenix overdosed and died outside the famous Viper Room.
Eighteen years later, as all things nineties seem to be making a comeback, director George Sluizer has a plan to introduce Phoenix to a new generation — and revive his legacy among old fans.
Sluizer, who’s made small films and documentaries, was shooting a film called “Dark Blood” with Phoenix when the actor died. The film was left unfinished.
Now Sluizer says he has a plan to release the film next year — he’ll enlist Joaquin Phoenix (River’s younger brother) to dub River’s voice and put the rest together with editing magic.
One problem: the family has gone on record saying they aren’t complicit in — or even aware of — this proposal. And it doesn’t sound like they’re too keen on it.
It’s unlikely Sluizer will get the project off the ground without them.
Even if he does, it’s not the easiest sell.
Consider “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” Heath Ledger‘s final film, which was completed with the help of several actors who took over his part. The film came out a year following Ledger’s death — the news world was still relatively reeling from his passing — and still didn’t make much of a splash.
The subject material of “Dark Blood” — a hermit on a nuclear power plant believes the dolls he makes can save the world — doesn’t help.
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