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River Phoenix's final film 'Dark Blood' to finally get released in U.S. thanks to Lionsgate

By Daniel S Levine,

Lionsgate picked up the distribution of Dark Blood, the last film featuring the late River Phoenix, over two decades after his death. The studio will release the film on Video On Demand (VOD).

Dark Blood was directed by Dutch helmer George Sluizer (The Vanishing), who spent years hoping to complete the film, even having to rescue reels from destruction. Sluizer put the film together in 2011 and it was screened at festivals in Berlin and Miami.

Now, more fans of Phoenix will finally be able to see the movie. Lionsgate picked up distribution at the Cannes Film Market this week, notes The Hollywood Reporter.

The film co-stars Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce as a Hollywood couple on a second honemyoon in Utah, notes The LA Times. However, their plans are thrown off course when they meet Phoenix. Sluizer, now 82, filmed 75 percent of the film before Phoenix’s death of an overdose in 1993.

After Phoenix died, the insurance company took control of the film and nearly destroyed it. “When River died, the movie was totally halted and everyone went away. It was over. It was declared impossible to finish,” Sluizer told THR. Another insurance company told him that the reels were in London, which was enough for him to start putting a full film together.

In 2011, Phoenix’s family said they wouldn’t support Dark Blood, but Sluizer told THR that his mother, Arlyn Phoenix, had talked with him. While she wished him good luck, he doesn’t think she will watch Dark Blood.

Cinemavault handled sales at Cannes. Lionsgate hasn’t set an exact release date.

 
 

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