Ari Aster Is Developing A New Project With Joaquin Phoenix & Says His Next Film Will "Almost Certainly" Be A Western

One of the most anticipated films of 2023 is, without a doubt, Ari Aster’sBeau is Afraid.” Not only is it the third film from the writer-director of “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” but it also stars Joaquin Phoenix in what looks to be another tour-de-force performance. And according to Aster, the joy found in making ‘Beau’ has changed him as a filmmaker and will likely lead to yet another film collaboration with Phoenix in the future.

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Speaking to the New York Times, Ari Aster went in depth about the origins and the production of “Beau is Afraid.” And really, what he did was rave about Joaquin Phoenix, who many film fans know is one of the most skilled but sometimes bewildering actors of his generation. 

“Joaquin is ruthlessly investigative,” Aster explained. “If something feels false or not right, he won’t be able to do it. It’s not even about him refusing to do something — his body will stop him.”

The filmmaker added that working on ‘Beau’ was “the best experience of my life. But it also taught me how I want to work in the future — the seriousness with which I expect an actor to approach any given part.”

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And apparently, the praise was mutual. Phoenix clearly enjoyed his time working on the film and created a bond with Aster.

“Sometimes it’s as simple as: I could be around you for four months because I like the way you talk about these characters, and I can see that you have a willingness to push yourself, and to be pushed and to push back, and that’s exciting to me,” Phoenix said.

While we have yet to see “Beau is Afraid,” the footage that has been released paints the picture of a big swing for Aster and Phoenix, combining surrealistic elements with comedy and a bit of horror. It looks wild and imaginative, and it is obviously a film that requires a deep commitment from the filmmaker and the star. 

Again, we haven’t had the pleasure of watching ‘Beau,’ but no matter what, it looks like it will be an interesting and well-crafted experience. And thankfully, according to Aster, it’s not likely to be the last time the duo works together. He said that he is developing another new project with Phoenix and that it “almost certainly” will be a Western.

With his start in horror and pitch-black drama, it’s refreshing to see Aster take on something he’s describing as a comedy with “Beau is Afraid,” and then perhaps working on a Western next. And with Phoenix along for the ride, whatever comes next will easily be one of the most anticipated films.