Director aims to finish final River Phoenix film
October 20th, 2011
10:24 AM ET

Director aims to finish final River Phoenix film

Actor River Phoenix passed away during the filming of “Dark Blood” in 1993, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, the film may be finished after all these years.

The 23-year-old star of "My Own Private Idaho" and "Running on Empty” died of a drug overdose outside L.A. club The Viper Room on Halloween night, leaving his drama “Dark Blood” unfinished. He’d been shooting the movie the day he died.

Dutch director George Sluizer says after much editing of the footage he’s kept hidden for 18 years, he should have a final cut of the film ready next year.

With some re-working and a potential title change (due to copyright issues), Sluizer is hoping voice-overs from River’s brother Joaquin Phoenix will finish “Dark Blood.”

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

The film follows a widowed hermit (Phoenix) who encounters a Hollywood couple (played by Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce) stranded in the Arizona desert.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. eg


    October 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jason

    River Phoenix ix dead? I didnt even know he was sick. No wonder he hasnt been returning my calls.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cherie Ralston

    What a waste of a handsome young man. We need to start a world wide war against prescription drug use
    and get the people at the top!!

    October 21, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Monica

    This is fantastic. I can't wait to see it! He was a good actor and brutally hot! He was my teen dream :o) I remember when the National Enquirer ran the pictures of his body lying in the coffin. It was horrific....... Too bad he wasn't able to get off drugs. It would be fun to see the types of movies he would be making now. His brother is a fantastic actor too...

    October 21, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chucklehead

    Never heard of him.

    October 21, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    Awesome, I can't wait to see it. River was a great actor and went before his time. Glad to see his work will finally be completed. Just hope it's good, ha.

    October 21, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    River was born in Oregon. Rain was born in Texas. Liberty was born in Venezuela. Summer was born in Florida.

    October 21, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rick Springfield

    The 70's show cast make occasional appearances although they share in the ownership of Dolce. I'm not sure about these unfinished movies but they can make a comeback if there is enough publicity. The lack of budget for publicizing a movie easily kills it. You otherwise get limited screens and release. One movie that was canned for many years was the remake of, "Where the Red Fern Grows." It actually went bankrupt and Disney bought it and sent ti right to DVD. Another that was partly made and never finished was the Terry Gilliam project, "The man who killed Don Quixote." They filmed some of the scenes and then a hurricane destroyed the set. Then Jean Rochefort broke his back and the production fell into completion bond. Guillium got the rights back from the bond holders and hired Robert Duvall to play Don Quixote. They have worked on it this year and who knows if it will be released but I'll be in line to see it.

    October 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andulamb

    Why does a photograph of a lesbian accompany this article about River Phoenix?

    October 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pam Jacks

    River Phoenix was a fine actor. I'm sure the film will be interesting at the very least.
    May his gentle soul rest in heavenly peace.

    October 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bella

    Phoenix kids' names – River, Leaf, Rain, Liberty and Summer. Leaf later changer to Joaquin.

    October 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Truth

    John Frusciante of the red hot chili peppers was using with River that night & the drugs that killed him were John's. Tough to live with that burden.

    October 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Egotripen

    I am excited to see the movie River started and his brother will finish. What a great story that will make! Joaquin will do a wonderful job finishing it!

    October 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mONKEY

    I don't get it... didn't this film maker sue River's mother after his death because he couldn't finish the film... because he died? Why would his brother help this person? Oh, and his brother (who was underage at the time) was there the night he died, and he bought the drugs from a pusher in the men's room. That's why Depp was investigated.

    October 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jay

    Joaquin was born in Puerto Rico.

    October 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. CyAZ

    No. Most Phoenix children, including River and Joaquin, were born in Arizona. I don't know why the film is in hands of someone outside the U.S. He might have purchased the film off the hands of somebody in hopes of finishing it. Perhaps the original film people did not intend to finish the River film after he died.

    October 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Tricia


    October 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Betty

    I am excited to see it:) I think he was very handsome and come on Joaquin so deserved the award for Walk the Line I mean what were they thinking so yes, Joaquin is a awesome actor who can totally do this and it will pull off just don't think about the fact that he has passed away and how; think about his work and how nice it will be to see him again:)

    October 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Red Pison

    This guy died a million years ago and people still go on and on about him solely because his name was weird.

    October 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boston

      So wrong. They go on and on because of the wasted potential/what could have been. Do you hear people going on and on about Brad Renfro? Didn't think so.

      October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red Pison

      So what? Haley Joel Osment was nominated for an Oscar and now the best work he can get is doing voice work for video games.

      October 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Life

      People go on about people who have died years past because that person meant something to them and they remember them. I remember River and I enjoyed his movies. I still think of him every so often. I also think about Brad Renfro every once in a while. I enjoyed his acting as well. Just like I still think of my dead cat that died years ago or my grandparents who died when I was a little girl. People can forget, but it takes alot to make them forget someone who has touched them in one way or another.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • AXL

      No. Wrong. He was young and gifted and extremely handsome. He was a fast rising star who we all expected great thing would come from. Then he suddenly died. Watch some of his movies. Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford for example. River was amazing in that.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  20. JIM

    It amazes me how miserable people are on these threads. Always putting down people with nothing positive to say. I'm glad my life isn't that bad to always be negative. Geez

    October 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  21. CHURCH

    If he lived he would be on VH1's has been on the 80's show. He would of amounted to nothing.

    October 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pauli

      No. He was an unusually talented and beautiful actor. He would have made some increasingly amazing films before finding a dumb nitch that paid HUGE money like Depp and those stupid pirate movies.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  22. San Jose

    I agree that their family is weird; all the children got to CHOOSE their names (i.e. River, Juaquin, etc). I was too young to be a fan of River when he died, but Juaquin is SUPER talented. I just hope he doesn't follow in his older brother's footsteps...

    October 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stella Baby

      I believe Joaquin is also known as Leaf Phoenix. All of the children (brothers & sisters) were named out of nature. He has a sister named Summer and older brother named Rain. I can't remember the names of the others.

      October 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boston

      Joaquin is in his mid-thirties, River died at 23. Thankfully, he's past the point of "following in his footsteps."

      October 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • LDRN

      Stella – Rain is his sister, short for Rainbow. He also has a sister Liberty. Joaquin went by "Leaf" for awhile.

      October 21, 2011 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  23. Stu

    Right Richard, becuase this guy is Dutch and its been almost 20 years.

    October 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Richard

    Greedy vultures in Hollywood will do anything for a buck.

    October 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  25. opinion

    I too, feel the Baldwins' are very odd humans.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  26. geezo

    Both he and his brother are/were very strange..........

    October 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chloe

      Oh! Do/did you know them?

      October 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shig

      Met him once at Auburn University in Alabama. He was a nice guy, but for someone that was supposed to be a big tree hugger, he tossed a candy wrapper out of the car we were in onto the street....I never forgot that...

      October 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Janie Smith

    Joaquin has a booming baritone voice and River had a higher end tone. Not sure how that's going to work at all.

    October 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lobo74

    People need to quit making excuses for the excesses of Hollywood.

    October 20, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Mork

      People need to stop making excuses for those who judge at a distance without knowing what the F they are talking about. Hollywood's drug use pales in comparison to that of middle crystal meth loving America. Does Lobo stand for Lobotomy?

      October 20, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Mindy

      Sorry about Mork, he's coming off a week long coke binge and sputtering idiotic nonsense.

      October 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  29. ted

    There were lots of famous young actors and actresses there right before he ODed. It was a shame for someone so young with everything going for them to pass away.

    October 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  30. mmmmmm

    Wasnt the Viper Room the private club owned by Johnny Depp? If so, there have been all kinds of stories about that place, none of them being too flattering.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      So if Johnny Depp was not a co-owner then there would not be any non-flattering stories about the place?

      October 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • CyAZ

      Yes – Johnny Depp was the owner of Viper Room at the time. I believe he was investigated for allowing underage patrons in his bar. I am not sure if anything ever came out of it, but I believe he shut down the bar because the Phoenix death drew attention to his bar and overcrowded it every night, causing trouble. Phoenix was 23 -of legal age, so Depp was not responsible for his death. I remember he was investigated for the possible drug offerings at Viper Room in which Phoenix may have gotten his drugs from, but Depp was cleared of that. Phoenix got his drugs from somewhere else and not from Viper Room.

      October 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josef

      Johnny Depp was a co-owner of the Viper room and sold it for unrelated reasons. The Viper Room is still open and booking bands. Being co-owner is NOT the same as being guilty.

      October 21, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  31. Vlucstar

    This movie will suck

    October 20, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Badonkadonk!

      I agree. It will suck big time.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sksk

      Yeah...unfortunately it probably will. A 20 year old drama flick is going to have a tough time holding up to today's standards. Especially one that has to be chopped up a thousand times to even be finished.

      October 21, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |

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