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River Phoenix May Return to Screen Via Re-edited Version of George Sluizer's Unfinished Dark Blood

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 19, 2011 at 7:46AM

It's been eighteen years since his death, but that's not stopping River Phoenix's last film, Dark Blood, from being released next year. Director George Sluizer has re-edited footage from the film shoot, which was not completed (Phoenix died at age 23 of a drug-induced heard attack, 11 days before it was meant to wrap), and thinks a final cut can be achieved if Joaquin Phoenix provides voiceover for River's character, Boy, a young hermit who lives on a nuclear test site awaiting the end of the world. "The voices of both brothers are very much alike," Sluizer tells THR, but the director has yet to ask Phoenix if he is willing to do it. The film co-stars Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis as a married couple who find Boy when their car breaks down. After beginning a relationship with the married woman, Boy questions his belief that the world is ending. It may be eighteen years old, but the story sounds very à propos.
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Thompson on Hollywood


It's been eighteen years since his death, but that's not stopping River Phoenix's last film, Dark Blood, from being released next year. Director George Sluizer has re-edited footage from the film shoot, which was not completed (Phoenix died at age 23 of a drug-induced heard attack, 11 days before it was meant to wrap), and thinks a final cut can be achieved if Joaquin Phoenix provides voiceover for River's character, Boy, a young hermit who lives on a nuclear test site awaiting the end of the world. "The voices of both brothers are very much alike," Sluizer tells THR, but the director has yet to ask Phoenix if he is willing to do it. The film co-stars Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis as a married couple who find Boy when their car breaks down. After beginning a relationship with the married woman, Boy questions his belief that the world is ending. It may be eighteen years old, but the story sounds very à propos.

Phoenix is known best for Stand by Me, My Own Private Idaho and for playing the young Indy in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Below is a popular YouTube tribute to the actor and a behind-the-scenes look at shooting The Last Crusade, in which Phoenix, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and George Lucas talk.


This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Obit, IN THE WORKS


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.