Ari Aster Says His Next Movie Will Be a Four-Hour ‘Nightmare Comedy’

The "Midsommar" director is once again up to his typically subversive tricks.
"Midsommar" director Ari Aster and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski
"Midsommar" director Ari Aster and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski
Gabor Kotschy, Courtesy of A24

Ari Aster is just about the hottest director working in film right now, with his first two features, “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” already bonafide cult classics. While he hasn’t announced specific details for his next movie, he said in a recent interview with the Associated Students Program Board at UC Santa Barbaravia Slash Film — that it’s going to be a four-hour-long “nightmare comedy.”

Aster said he just finished a new draft, and added, “All I know is that it’s gonna be four hours long.” Since being discovered by A24 for his grippingly demented short films “The Strange Thing About the Johnsons” and “Munchausen,” Aster has been given incredible creative freedom, so it’s no surprise that his next film, or whatever shape the project takes, could end up being that long. After releasing on July 3 in the summer of 2019, “Midsommar” also had a director’s cut released, clocking in at almost three hours.

The elements of macabre humor in that movie, which pitched a relationship breakdown against the backdrop of a Swedish pagan death cult, also make the case for the label of “nightmare comedy.” “Hereditary” focused less on humor and more on creating a pervasive atmosphere of dread and despair. The movie earned Toni Collette some of the best reviews of her career, and put Aster on the map after it premiered at Sundance in 2018.

Aster’s production company Square Peg is also teaming with CJ Entertainment, the company behind Best Picture Academy Award winner “Parasite,” for an English-language remake of “Save the Green Planet!” The 2003 film centers on an an aliens-among-us tale, combining elements of apocalyptic sci-fi. The film is part of a growing lineup of English-language adaptions from CJ Entertainment, which is also at work on film collaborations with Kevin Hart, such as “Extreme Job” and “Bye, Bye, Bye.” Both, like “Save the Green Planet!” are based on prior Korean hits.

Announced back in May of this year, “Save the Green Planet!” is currently in pre-production, and it will mark Aster’s first time as a producer. (In the past, he’s served solely as writer and director on his own movies.) You can read the official synopsis here.

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