March 26, 2017

River Phoenix’s final film “Dark Blood” coming to theaters


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Like too many in Hollywood, River Phoenix died long before his time. When he overdosed on Halloween night in 1993, the young actor was coming off the ensemble comedy “Sneakers” and Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed independent “My Own Private Idaho” opposite Keanu Reeves. The world wondered what he’d do next. We never got the chance to find out.

Yet THR reports that “Dark Blood,” the film Phoenix was wrapping when he died, will be released by director George Sluizer after an 18 year delay. The trade says the director will try and patch over Phoenix’s absence with voice-over and other tricks, but that the preserved footage will be assembled into a releasable cut that will hit theaters sometime in 2012.

Sluizer says he’d like River’s brother, Joaquin, to provide the voice-over for River’s character in the film, simply named Boy.

“The voices of both brothers are very much alike,” the director explains.

The plot sounds strange. Phoenix plays a loner living on a nuclear testing site in the middle of the desert. He’s waiting for the end of the world, but takes a detour when a high-powered couple (played by Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce) arrives at his site, and relationship issues form.

But many, I imagine, will be anxious to see Phoenix on screen again. We’ll keep you posted on the film’s distribution as we learn more.

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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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