Despite winning an Oscar earlier this year, Joaquin Phoenix isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The star of 2019’s Joker is rumoured to be in talks to star in the latest horror film from Hereditary and Midsommar director Ari Aster, titled Beau is Afraid.
While Ari Aster does only have two feature films to his name, he has quickly become a household name in horror. Hereditary and Midsommar are two of the best films in 2018 and 2019 respectively, helping to breathe new life into the genre and earning Aster praise from legends of cinema like Martin Scorsese. But fans of Aster know that while he does just have the two feature films, he does have several high-quality shorts to his name, one of which shares a similarity with his upcoming release – Beau. The short followed a paranoid man named Beau who must not fall asleep as he worries over the security of his apartment.
But it seems that name is the only similarity between his 6-minute short and his next feature. According to Discussing Film, Beau is Afraid has the following synopsis: “An anxious man (Joaquin Phoenix) learns of the death of his mother under mysterious circumstances and upon traveling home makes an alarming discovery about his past. During his journey, he runs into various crazy supernatural threats.” It’s unknown if the short will have any relation but just from this description, I’m already excited for what is sure to be another masterpiece from Aster.
As mentioned in the synopsis, Phoenix is expected to play the lead, Beau, who is “described as an extremely anxious but pleasant-looking man who has a fraught relationship with his overbearing mother. Their relationship is affected from the fact that he never knew his father.” This seems like the perfect role for the former clown and AI heartthrob, but also hints at a worrying typecast for the actor as the loner, a direction that hopefully can be avoided so that we get to experience everything he has to offer.
Phoenix’s next project is set to be Kitbag, a Napoleon Bonaparte biopic from 20th Century Fox under director Ridley Scott. So while I am not Beau, I am afraid it may be a while before we see Aster’s next project.
Words by George Bell
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