In 1991, New Line Cinema released the indie film My Own Private Idaho, written and directed by Gus Van Sant and starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. The film has become a cult classic and a favourite among fans of the two leading actors, in particular River Phoenix.
Twenty years after the film's release, a companion piece entitled My Own Private River was created by James Franco and consisted of many never-before-seen footage of River Phoenix. The film received screenings in Los Angeles, New York, London and Munich and it was available to buy in a book of Franco's work called Moving Pictures/Moving Sculptures.
The film, however, has never been released for mass distribution.
Franco has stated that "New Line Cinema, who made the original film, doesn't want a version that's going to compete with their sales."
I have created this petition in the hope of showing New Line Cinema that My Own Private River should not be viewed as competition to My Own Private Idaho. We, the fans of River Phoenix and My Own Private Idaho (and also Gus Van Sant, Keanu Reeves and James Franco), hope to show that there is a huge demand for this film to receive a proper release.
Through the large number of signatures, we hope to show that many, many people are desperate to see My Own Private River and want to see this film released either on DVD or on Video-On-Demand. We believe that there would be a considerable number of sales for this film, and as a result, a resurge in sales, not a decline, for My Own Private Idaho as many would discover the original film as a result of viewing this companion piece.
Please sign the petition if you too believe that My Own Private River should be released for all to see!
Thank you for your support.
I received an email from the producer of My Own Private Idaho and it has brought to my attention that the Phoenix family has not given their consent for a release of My Own Private River. This may be the actual issue as to why New Line Cinema has not been able to release MOPR. It may not be due to sales of MOPI.
I am now reluctant to continue with this petition if it is against the wishes of the Phoenix family.
Please read the full discussion about this on my tumblr for more information about this update.
Thank you again to everyone for your support and help with the petition up to this stage! It has been a great show of love for River.