Director Victor Kossakovsky shared the news following a screening at the Zurich Film Festival Sunday of his documentary Gunda. When asked about the absence of Phoenix, who is an executive producer on the doc, Kossakovsky explained, “He just got a baby, by the way, his name was...a beautiful son named River, so he cannot promote it now.
River was the name of Phoenix’s actor brother, who died in 1993 at the age of 23. Joaquin, who was 19 at the time, mentioned his late brother towards the end of his Oscars acceptance speech earlier this year. “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow,'" he said.
Phoenix spoke about his brother in a 60 Minutes interview in January, saying, “In virtually every movie I made, there was a connection to River in some way.”
News of Mara’s pregnancy first surfaced in May. The couple got engaged last year after three years together. The couple starred in the 2018 film Mary Magdalene.