At long last, River Phoenix's final film will see the light of day.
The actor was in the midst of shooting Dark Blood when he died of heart attack at age 23 outside L.A.'s Viper Room in 1993; autopsy results found lethal traces of cocaine and morphine, in addition to diazepam, ephedrine and marijuana in River's bloodstream.
Following the actor's studden death, director George Sluizer kept the original Dark Blood footage hidden for 18 years out of fear that it would be destroyed.
Sluizer has since re-edited the project for a 2012 release, and he hopes River's brother, Joaquin, 36, will provide a voiceover for his brother's character, Boy.
"The voices of both brothers are very much alike," Sluizer tells The Hollywood Reporter.
In Dark Blood, River plays a young widower who lives in the desert on a nuclear testing site, waiting for the end of the world. When a couple (played by Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis) seek shelter in the area, Boy begins a troubled relationship with Davis' character.
Dutch-based production company Eyeworks is helping Sluizer deal with the legal issues surrounding the release of Dark Blood. Copyright claims may also lead to retitling the film.