When River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993, he was nearly done filming his movie Dark Blood.
The thriller sat on shelves for 20 years despite intense interest in the tragic star who was only 23-years-old when he died outside West Hollywood’s Viper Room of a drug overdose.
On Friday it was announced at the Cannes Film Festival the film will get a US release date, according to Deadline.
A new life for an old movie: On Friday it was announced at the Cannes Film Festival that River Phoenix’s last film, the thriller Dark Blood, would get a US release date 20 years after it was made
Liongsate announced that they have bought the rights to the film, a thriller about a widower who takes an innocent couple hostage in the desert of the American southwest.
The company released a statement about their acquisition: ‘The story behind the making of a film can be as intriguing as the film itself… An actor with undeniable talent has his life cut short before he could fully realize his potential. This is a time capsule. A piece of history.’
‘When River died, the movie was totally cancelled and everyone went away. It was declared impossible to finish’, Dutch director George Sluzier recently revealed.
Love and loss: River, pictured in his film I Love You To Death, had shot 80 percent of Dark Blood before he passed away
‘The negatives were still good but part of the sound needed to be rebuilt and re-recorded’, Sluzier explained. ‘And only 65 percent of the story was shot…so I had to rewrite the story.’
For twenty years Sluzier has been on a quest to turn that around and make it happen.
Last year an unfinished version of the movie premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.
The movie, which also stars Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce, will be released not in theaters but on video-on-demand.
River is the brother of Oscar nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix.
Life cut short: The Golden Globe and Oscar nominee was only 23-years-old when he tragically overdosed at the Viper Room in Los Angeles in 1993