Be afraid, be very afraid of Joaquin Phoenix’s next role.
The Oscar winner plays the titular Beau in Ari Aster’s latest A24 film, “Beau Is Afraid.” While the plot has long been under wraps, a most recent synopsis has been shared, which details, “A paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster.”
Along with Phoenix, Nathan Lane, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, and Parker Posey also star.
Originally titled “Disappointment Blvd.,” the long-in-the-works feature is slated for an April 21, 2023 release date in theaters. “Midsommar” director Aster previously said his next film will be a four-hour-long “nightmare comedy” when “Disappointment” was officially announced in February 2021. Aster meanwhile helmed a 2011 short film also titled “Beau.” In that short film, a neurotic middle-aged man’s trip to visit his mother is held up when his keys are mysteriously taken from his door. He is subsequently haunted by an increasingly sinister chain of upsetting events.
Aster previously told IndieWire that his next feature is decidedly not a horror film. “It might take me a few movies before I wind back around to [horror], but I love horror and I’m sure I’ll be back,” Aster said.
He added one caveat: “Head trauma will ALWAYS have a place in my films.”
“Beau Is Afraid” is Aster’s third feature behind “Midsommar” and “Hereditary,” with all three landing at A24. Aster and Lars Knudsen produce the film with A24 through their Square Peg production banner. Aster reteams with his “Midsommar” and “Hereditary” cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, whom he met while they were film students at the AFI Conservatory, on “Beau Is Afraid.”
In addition to “Beau Is Afraid,” lead star Phoenix is reprising his role of Arthur Fleck for “Joker: Folie à Deux” alongside Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn. Academy Award winner Phoenix is also leading Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” playing the titular French ruler. The film is set to explore Napoleon’s relationship with his wife Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. Phoenix reunites with director Scott over two decades after the duo’s 2000 Oscar winner “Gladiator.”
Check out the trailer below.