After ‘Midsommar,’ Ari Aster Wants to Make a ‘Zonky Nightmare Comedy’

Either that, or a "sickly domestic melodrama," the director promised.
Director Ari Aster poses for a portrait to promote his film "Hereditary" at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, Calif"Hereditary" Portrait Session, Los Angeles, USA - 21 May 2018
Ari Aster
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

While “Hereditary” introduced Ari Aster as one seriously brilliant and twisted genre auteur, “Midsommar” had some fans concerned for his mental health. During a candid and often funny Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), the new reigning king of “elevated horror” (along with “Get Out” director Jordan Peele) hinted at some potential themes for his next projects, and his answer may come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his work. When asked whether Aster would ever consider making a comedy, the director replied with an enthusiastic: “YES. And hopefully very soon.”

“Next one will either be a zonky nightmare comedy or a big, sickly domestic melodrama,” he added. “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.”

Whether zonky comedy or sickly melodrama, Aster did promise to continue with at least one recurring theme: “Head trauma will ALWAYS have a place in my films.”

But first, Aster is working with prolific indie producer Lars Knudsen (“The Witch,” “American Honey,” “Little Men”) to produce new work from emerging filmmakers.

“Lars Knudsen and I are still figuring out what this will look like, although there are projects that we are already developing with filmmakers we believe in, and we’re excited about championing bold, interesting work while also pushing forward on my projects,” he said.

Aster was candid and good-humored throughout the AMA, joking that he was most definitely not OK in the head. Aster also confirmed that a new director’s cut would add an extra 30 minutes of footage to the already 147-minute theatrical runtime.

Aster also shared many of his cinematic influences and favorite films. He said that “Carrie” “destroyed me as a kid,” and also revealed that “Aliens” is his favorite James Cameron movie. His favorite horror films of the last decade include “The Wailing,” The Witch,” and “Let the Right One In”; his favorite scary movie at the moment is the 1965 Japanese anthology film “Kwaidan”; and his favorite movie released this year was Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir.”

The “Midsommar” theatrical cut is now playing in theaters nationwide from A24. Read the full Reddit AMA here.

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