Joaquin Phoenix In Talks To Star In ‘Beau Is Afraid’

Ari Aster–the man behind the cameras for the horror hits Hereditary and Midsommar–may land an Oscar-winning actor for his next genre movie.

Joaquin Phoenix–who took home a Best Actor Academy Award for his chilling portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in 2019’s Joker–reportedly has had discussions to lead Aster’s Beau Is Afraid, according to

Aster has referred to his new film–apparently still in the infant stages–as a “four-hour nightmare comedy” (whatever that may mean) that will draw inspiration from Beau–a 2011 short from the filmmaker.

Beau Is Afraid is described as a “surrealistic horror film set in an alternate present,” with the lead character (Phoenix?) being “an extremely anxious, but pleasant-looking, man who has a (fearful) relationship with his overbearing mother and who never knew his father.” As the story unfolds and the man’s mother dies, he travels home–a journey that involves wild, supernatural threats.

Aster’s two previous horror film were well-received by both fans and critics. Hereditary (2018), Aster’s feature film directorial debut, dealt with a family haunted by a mysterious presence following the death of their secretive grandmother. The movie grossed $80 million worldwide on a $10-million budget.

Last year’s Midsommar, written and directed by Aster, follows a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a festival that only takes place once every 90 years. While there, they wind up in the clutches of a pagan cult. The film took in $48 million worldwide on a $9-million budget.

Phoenix also has an impressive horror background. Earlier in his stellar career, he appeared in two successful M. Night Shyamalan films–Signs (2002) and The Village (2004). And, of course, his Joker was one of last year’s blockbuster events, grossing $1.1 billion worldwide on a budget of less than $70 million.

With more details sure to be on the way for Beau Is Afraid, keep reading Horror News Network for all the updates.


Thomas Tuna
Thomas Tuna
Thomas A. Tuna is a comic book veteran who began his writing career back in the ’70s with Charlton Comics, contributing to such horror titles as Ghost Manor, Haunted, The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves and Ghostly Haunts. Most recently, he has served as a writer and editor (with more than a smattering of horror yarns) for such comic book websites as Hyper Epics and Red Moon Features. Some of his favorite horror flicks include Jaws, Salem’s Lot, Dracula (with Frank Langella) and Blade. His favorite horror comic books? Tomb of Dracula (by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan) and Swamp Thing (by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson).

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