With only eleven days left of production, director George Sluizer’s bizarre Dark Blood shut down because of River Phoenix’s untimely death in 1993 at the age of 23. In the film, the rising star played a hermit living on a nuclear testing site, making dolls he felt had magical powers and waiting for the old world to end. Like you do. When two Hollywood types traveling through Arizona on a second honeymoon (Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis) break down, he helps them…but then keeps them against their will because he likes the cut of Judy Davis’s jib. And because he’s been alone in the desert for a long time.
The long-abandoned project got a trailer recently, which you can see below, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Sluizer plans on bringing a finished cut of the project to the Netherlands Film Festival in September. This announcement comes after the director first claimed last Fall that he wanted to complete the picture and needed Joaquin Phoenix’s help with a new voice over track.
It seems likely that some sort of US release will follow, but what’s most interesting about this story is that, in addition to money from the Netherlands Film Fund, Sluizer was able to finish this film with help from crowdfunding. It’s partially because of dedicated fans that we’ll be able to see River Phoenix, 19 years after his death, one last time on screen.