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Faces & Names: Phoenix’s final film gets VOD release

Lionsgate has acquired North American rights to River Phoenix’s final film “Dark Blood” from Cinemavault and is planning a video on demand release this year, it was announced Friday at Cannes.

George Sluizer (“The Vanishing”) co-wrote and directed the movie, which halted production following Phoenix’s death in 1993. Sluizer subsequently spent years battling to complete the film.

In 1993, the insurance company behind the film attacked Phoenix for drug abuse. After losing the claim in 1998, it allegedly decided to destroy the negative of “Dark Blood,” but Sluizer managed to save the film and preserve the creative talent from being lost.

In 2012, he was able to edit the film using the existing negative and finally give life to the unfinished movie “Dark Blood.”