Rumors have circulated for months that Ari Aster and Joaquin Phoenix were eyeing a collaboration, and now Deadline confirms the project is officially moving forward, with A24 financing and producing. Aster worked with A24 on his acclaimed horror movies “Hereditary” and “Midsommar.” While Deadline reports the movie was shopped to buyers after Phoenix committed to starring, A24 “was always in the pole position” to land the film.
Aster and Phoenix’s movie is titled “Disappointment Blvd.” and is described as “an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.” No further information about the plot is being released at this time. Aster and Lars Knudsen are set to produce the film with A24 through their Square Peg production banner.
Deadline reports: “As for production, while a start date is unknown at this time, it is very likely that Phoenix will shoot this before the Ridley Scott pic ‘Kitbag,’ where Phoenix will play Napoleon Bonaparte. Scott is currently prepping his crime thriller Gucci, making Kitbag’s production more likely for top of 2022.”
“Disappointment Blvd.” is set to be Phoenix’s first production since winning the Oscar for “Joker” in 2020. Before the Oscars, the actor wrapped filming Mike Mills new movie “C’mon C’mon,” which also has the backing of A24. Mills’ film does not have a release date yet but could turn up on the festival circuit later this year.
As for Aster, the filmmaker mentioned in July 2020 during an interview at UC Santa Barbara that his next movie was going to be a “nightmare comedy.” Aster said he had just finished a new draft of the screenplay at the time and added, “All I know is that it’s gonna be four-hours long.” Whether or not “Disappointment Blvd.” is the “nightmare comedy” Aster was referring to remains to be seen, but the “decades-spanning” plot tease could align with Aster’s reveal that whatever he makes next will have a four-hour runtime.
Aster’s films have proven to be lucrative for A24, both at the box office and with film critics. “Hereditary” earned $44 million at the domestic box office, while “Midsommar” tapped out in the U.S. just under $30 million.