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Celebrity deaths have come fast and hit hard so far in the past few years. However, the death of actor Ray Liotta in 2022 hit movie fans especially hard, given the actor’s decades of prominence in Hollywood. Now Liotta’s final movie sits in an uncertain place. Here’s what we know so far about what might become of Dangerous Waters and Liotta’s role in the film.

Ray Liotta died in May 2022 at 67

ray liotta last movie
Actor Ray Liotta attends SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Conversations with Ray Liotta at SAG-AFTRA Foundation Screening Room on June 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. | Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

Liotta made his film debut in 1983’s The Lonely Lady. But it would only take a few years for the actor to start breaking into the mainstream. Following 1986’s Something Wild, the actor went on to appear in such hits as Field of Dreams, Goodfellas, Cop Land, and Hannibal over the next 15 years. Most recently, the actor starred alongside an ensemble cast in the 2023 hit Cocaine Bear.

Although his cause of death remains a bit unclear, Liotta died in his sleep on May 26, 2022, at age 67. At the time, he was filming Dangerous Waters, an upcoming thriller from director John Barr. According to its IMDb page, the movie centers on a sailing holiday that “spirals out of control when a teenage daughter uncovers the dark past of her mother’s new boyfriend.”

What’s the current status of ‘Dangerous Waters’?

When Liotta died, Dangerous Waters was still filming in the Dominican Republic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Liotta would have played the boyfriend with a dark secret, opposite actors like Odeya Rush, Saffron Burrows, and Eric Dane. At this point, it’s unclear what the status of the movie is, but there’s reason to believe production suffered at Liotta’s loss.

For instance, a Deadline report that the producers hoped to pitch Dangerous Waters at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival – which was ongoing when Liotta died – indicates the movie’s release is behind schedule. With filming likely so close to being complete, the chances are good that Dangerous Waters will need to find a creative way to conclude telling its story without its lead actor.

Other movies have recast major roles mid-production


Ray Liotta’s Fiancée Speaks Out After ‘Goodfellas’ Actor’s Death: ‘The Kind of Real Love That One Dreams Of’

One route the movie could take is to recast Liotta’s role. After all, movies have been completely retooled prior to release. Sometimes, a project is cutting ties with an actor (Kevin Spacey, replaced by Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World). In other cases, a star dies midway through production, leaving CGI and trick photography to pick up the slack (such as Carrie Fisher in the most recent Star Wars trilogy).

The big question is whether enough of Dangerous Waters has been completed to salvage Liotta’s footage. In all likelihood, the movie will have to go back to the drawing board for reflection and recalibration if it hopes to be released in the near future. In the meantime, Liotta fans can see him as a desperate crime lord in Cocaine Bear.