CONTENT WARNING: The following article contains discussions and descriptions of sexual assault and abuse.
The film, Phoenix Rising, is directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil) and has been in the works for over two year. Phoenix Rising is also set to hit US streaming platforms in coming months, though a premiere date hasn’t been announced.
The title stems from the Phoenix Act: a 2019 bill that Wood had been instrumental in introducing, which extended the statute of limitations on domestic violence in California from three years to five.
Of course, the actress and activist has been open in court about her relationship with disgraced musician Marilyn Manson, who she levelled multiple claims of abuse and grooming against.
Last year saw more women come forward with their own allegations of sexual harassment and domestic violence against Manson, who is currently under investigation in California by the L.A.P.D. He has been consistent in denying all accusations against him.
It was in February of 2021 that Wood publicly named Manson as her abuser.
Both Wood and Berg have been in contact for years, and had initially come up with the idea to make a film that would eventually become Phoenix Rising back in 2019.
“It wasn’t about Marilyn Manson, and his whole world,” Berg said. “This was about an Erin Brockovich story. We were really focused on telling a story about empowerment, something that would offer resources for women and men who are stuck in abusive situations. And that was what we were making… until she decided to name him publicly.”
“Phoenix Rising” is a full portrait of Wood, delving into her family life and her career beginnings as a child actor — “and how she was forced into adulthood from such young age — like ‘Thirteen,’ and those roles,” Berg added.
Berg and Wood — along with, Berg said, “a number of survivors” whom they were filming even before Wood accused Manson — were in production during COVID with a small crew. “It’s a really intimate portrait of Evan, and I had incredible access,” Berg said.