Culture / Film

Watch the trailer for Joaquin Phoenix and Ari Aster’s monumental horror film ‘Beau is Afraid’

Joaquin Phoenix films have become somewhat of a one-in-a-million treasure. The Oscar-winning actor has never been one to rush into a project, preferring to take his time rather than committing blindly. That's why when news broke that Phoenix was confirmed to star in Ari Aster's upcoming film, Beau is Afraid, (originally titled Disappointment Blvd) we knew it was serious business.

The Joaquin Phoenix led Beau is Afraid has been dubbed Aster's biggest contribution to the [horror] genre yet'. The film has been described by the director as “a four hour long nightmare comedy.” Thankfully, after much deliberation, the film is rumoured to be shaved down to a measly three and a half hours.

Originally reported by Deadline, rumours of Phoenix's involvement in Aster's latest film had been swirling since last year. Even to date, we have only been treated with a small semblance of a plotline, which describes the film as: “an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.” Given that the film marks one of Phoenix's first known projects since his award-wining portrayal of The Joker, we're anticipating that whatever Aster has up his sleeve, it's sure to be big, and the first trailer has just been released.

In the two-minute trailer, lonely and emotionally stunted Beau is planning to go and visit his mum. That is until he gets hit by a car and finds himself trapped in the house of the drivers who hit him. With an ankle monitor and no way out, his escape takes him on a trippy, seemingly life long journey.

This is not the first time that Aster or Pheonix and A24 have worked together. The arthouse production company was pipped as a clear frontrunner to finance and produce the film after collaborating with Aster on his directorial debut, Hereditary, and later on the 2019 horror film, Midsommar, with Florence Pugh. This is Pheonix's second A24 film after he starred in Mike Mills' C'mon C'mon.

Who's involved?

Alongside A24, Aster and his previous co-collaborator Lars Knudsen will also produce. There have been a few new members added to the docket in undisclosed roles including icon Patti Lapone, Parker Posey, (The Sweetest Thing), Zoe Lister-Jones (New Girl), and Kylie Rogers.

Do we have a release date?

The film was rumoured to preview at Cannes in 2022, however, due to supposed disagreements about the runtime, that deadline came and went. “It is not finished! I am a perfectionist, I take the entire manufacturing process very seriously. Despite time and money restrictions. It is also good to preserve the mystery,” Ari said in the interview, translated by World of Reel. Aster seems to have reached his desired level of perfection, though, with a new, official release date of 21 April 2023.

A24 has now released a glimpse of the highly anticipated film by way of a poster on their Instagram.


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