Last year we posted an article about director George Sluizer’s ambitious plan to complete the 1993 film he had been working on when leading man, River Phoenix, died of a drug overdose outside LA’s Viper Room. Now, the film has a trailer and release date!
After Phoenix’s death, Sluizer learnt of studio plans to destroy what they considered unusable footage. He rescued it, and after almost 20 years of holding onto it, decided to see whether the film could finally be made.
Some people painted the move as exploitative, especially since the Phoenix family has distanced itself from the project, but when we interviewed Sluizer for issue 57 he seemed like a guy who just genuinely wanted to finish what he felt was a great film.
Sluizer was using crowd-funding to raise the post-production costs, and it seems he reached his target budget because donations have now closed and the film is being screened at the Netherlands Film Festival in September! When we spoke to Sluizer he estimated the movie was about 80 per cent done when Phoenix passed away, so it’ll be interesting to see how he’s pieced the film together. Here’s hoping it gets international distribution!
You can read our interview with George Sluizer in Issue 57. Find out more and watch raw footage from the film at George Sluizer’s website.