Joaquin Phoenix, Ari Aster ‘Could Get Upset and Make Up in Seconds’ on ‘Disappointment Blvd.’ Set

Stephen McKinley Henderson compared Aster and Phoenix's vibe on set to that of "really old friends."
"Disappointment Blvd."
Joaquin Phoenix and Ari Aster
Everett Collection

Joaquin Phoenix is back in the awards conversation this year with Mike Mills’ “C’mon C’mon,” and he’ll surely keep stirring up buzz with upcoming roles in Ari Aster’s “Disappointment Blvd.” and Ridley Scott’s Napoleon epic “Kitbag.” The Aster movie was recently teased by Stephen McKinley Henderson in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Henderson has a supporting role in “Disappointment Blvd.” along with Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, and Parker Posey. The film is Aster’s follow-up to “Hereditary” and “Midsommar.”

“I just finished with his film. The working title right now is ‘Disappointment Blvd.’ I don’t know if it will stay that,” Henderson said. “But yeah, I worked with Joaquin! And I got to work with Patti LuPone! Patti and I went to school together. So we did work together in school, but we hadn’t worked together professionally. 50 years later, this is the first time we’ve worked together professionally. We met in 1968. So that was a real joy to be on set with Patti and to work with Joaquin, who is really a nice person”

Henderson continued, “[Joaquin] and Ari were so simpatico, and they worked together for the whole film. I came in pretty close to the end of the shoot and so they had been working a while. And their way of working together was like they were really old friends. They could get upset and make up in the span of seconds, it seemed. But the work was always the better for it.”

“Disappointment Blvd.” reunites Aster with A24, the studio behind his two previous directorial efforts. The studio has described the movie as “an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.” No further information about the plot has been released, although the director did mention in July 2020 that his next movie was going to be “a nightmare comedy.”

“All I know is that it’s gonna be four hours long,” Aster added at the time. 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.

Filming on “Disappointment Blvd.” continued into the fall. The film is not expected to be released until 2022.

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