In some very interesting news, “Dark Blood” is about to get released 20 years after it was made. The movie stars River Phoenix and was completed after the young star’s untimely death. The movie sat on the shelf for many years, with just as many people wanting to keep it buried as there were those who wanted it released for the world to see. The movie stars Phoenix as an isolated person living in the desert. When a couple shows up with car problems and asks for help, he develops a dangerous relationship with the wife.
While seeing a new River Phoenix movie on the screen, over 20 years after his death, may seem strange, it isn’t the first time a movie came out after an actor’s death. Sometimes by months, and sometimes years later, here is a look at three movies following the deaths of a major movie star.
James Dean was one of Hollywood’s most tragic deaths. He only starred in three movies in his career, although he had some minor supporting roles before that. He was suddenly thrust into the public eye thanks to two high profile and critically acclaimed roles in “East of Eden” and “Rebel Without a Cause,” both released in 1955. At the age of 24, Dean died in an auto accident in September 1955. The next year, his final movie “Giant” was released. Dean was the first actor to ever receive a posthumous Oscar nomination for “East of Eden” and is the only one still to have two, with a nomination for “Giant” as well.
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
The most famous case of a movie coming out after an actor’s death was “The Dark Knight.” Heath Ledger finished his filming of “The Dark Knight” but died before the movie hit theaters. However, he was also in the middle of filming a movie with Terry Gilliam known as “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and he died before the movie could be completed. Gilliam found some of Ledger’s friends to join the movie and play Ledger’s character in different time frames, including Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. The movie came out in 2009, over a year after Ledger died.
“The Game of Death”
Bruce Lee died in 1973 at the age of 32, and by the time of his death, he had made his name as the greatest martial arts movie star of all time. Lee died while doing some post production work on his movie “Enter the Dragon” and he never saw that movie released. However, Lee was also working on a new movie called “The Game of Death” at the time of his death. Five years after the death of Lee, “The Game of Death” was released, although only part of Lee’s filming was used in the finished film, as a new plot was added to finish the movie.