EXCLUSIVE: Hereditary helmer Ari Aster looks to be heading back to the home that helped launch his career. Deadline is hearing that A24 is set to finance and produce his new film Disappointment Blvd., with Joaquin Phoenix on board to star.
Rumors had been swirling at the end of last year that Phoenix was considering this as his follow-up to his Oscar-winning performance in Joker, but insiders say at the time it was still only a discussion and nothing concrete. Once Phoenix officially committed to the project, the package was put together and taken out to buyers. While there was plenty of interest from other suitors, A24 always seemed in pole position after producing Aster’s previous hits Hereditary and Midsommar.
A24 had no comment.
Details are being kept under wraps for the project written and directed by Aster, but the plot is described as “an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.” Alongside A24, Aster and Lars Knudsen will produce under their Square Peg banner.
For Aster, this marks a major score to land an A-lister of this caliber, especially since Phoenix’s star power couldn’t be more in demand following his Oscar-winning performance portraying the Clown Prince of Crime. It also shows how impressive this script is as Phoenix is known for being particular in what he signs onto; while he took his time in committing to the project, he never seemed to waver in his interest in teaming with Aster.
As for production, while a start date is unknown at this time, it is likely that Phoenix will shoot this before the Ridley Scott pic Kitbag, in which Phoenix will play Napoleon Bonaparte. Scott is currently prepping his crime thriller Gucci, making Kitbag’s production more likely for top of 2022.
Although this will mark his first film post-Oscar win, Phoenix can be seen next in Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon, which he shot in 2019.
Phoenix, Aster and Square Peg are repped by WME. Aster is also repped by Elia.