Beau Is Afraid: Ari Aster's next uncomfortable horror stars Joaquin Phoenix?


In November 2020 it was announced that Ari Aster, director of the critically-acclaimed hits Hereditary and Midsommar, was potentially sizing up Joaquin Phoenix for the lead role in his next creepy feature. What exactly is Beau Is Afraid? What's it going to be about and will it be any good? Here's everything you need to know.

Beau - Ari Aster's 2011 short film

In 2011, Ari Aster released a short film called Beau. It's a 7 minute horror about a flustered man whose keys vanish from his door in an apartment block and he proceeds to be tormented by an increasingly disturbing chain of upsetting events.

Basically, Ari Aster has said that Beau is Afraid will be a 4 hour version of the short in some form of perpetual "nightmare comedy". His form of horror is one that manifests itself in extremely twisted dark humor and constant discomfort all within the realm of great visual and narrative filmmaking. Four hours of the above would likely leave anyone an entirely different, hallowed person by the end. So why not give it a go?

It's pretty likely that the basic principles of Aster's original story will be the same but he'll embelish it with more about who Beau actually is, what's happening to him and why. Perhaps we'll be introduced to the ghostly entities that plague him? Or maybe it'll be just as elusive as the original short.

Is Joaquin Phoenix playing Beau?

In 2020, rumours started to circulate that Phoenix, the award-winning Joker actor, would replace Billy Mayo as the titular character. In fact, rumours also suggested that production wouldn't begin until Phoenix could 100% do it. Since then, there's not been much more speculation.

In terms of other characters or actors, Phoenix may be the only one they need. It may very well be 4 hours of him slowly cracking as he's tormented more and more by whatever sinister essence haunts the character. It would certainly be a good casting as there's not a lot of other actors that an audience would be willing to watch do that for 4 hours straight.

When is it out?

Nobody knows. But my guess would be a late-2022 release date at the earliest. We'll be keeping this post updated with all the news surrounding Ari Aster's next twisted feature, so make sure to subscribe to Any Good? for updates!

Will it be Any Good? Considering Martin Scorcese lists Hereditary and Midsommar as two of the greatest and most ambitious films made over the last decade, it's a safe bet that it will be. But only time can tell.

For now, Hereditary & Midsommar are available to stream on Netflix and Prime Video respectively