A24 has set an April 21st release date and unveiled the first trailer for Beau Is Afraid — its third feature from Ari Aster, which teams the buzzy writer-director with Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix (Joker).
The Hereditary breakout’s new film (formerly titled Disappointment Blvd.) is billed as a decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.
As the trailer for the film opens, a balding Beau (Phoenix) with multiple large cuts on his face lounges on a pool recliner, looking across the way, where a younger version of himself (Armen Nahapetian) and a young version of his mother (Zoe Lister-Jones) do the same.
“I am so sorry for what your daddy passed down to you,” an even younger version of Beau is told by his mother in the next menacing scene. “But I wanted a child, the greatest gift of my life.”
Adult Beau later announces his intention to visit his mother, nervously contemplating how he’ll journey to her, through a world that’s “not safe.” We then, at various points, see him make his escape from what appears to be a mental hospital, get hit by a car and flee gunfire within a dark forest, also repeatedly wandering through scenes rendered in animation.
“You will walk many miles. Dozens will become hundreds, hundreds will become thousands,” a mysterious figure says, as we’re introduced to a bearded Phoenix, aged through prosthetic makeup. “Your adventures will continue for years and years.”
Also starring Only Murders in the Building‘s Nathan Lane and Amy Ryan, as well as Stephen McKinley Henderson (Causeway), Hayley Squires (The Essex Serpent), Denis Ménochet (Peter von Kant), Kylie Rogers (Yellowstone), Parker Posey (Tales of the Walking Dead) and Pattie LuPone (American Horror Story), Beau Is Afraid was produced for Square Peg by Aster and Lars Knudsen.
Aster’s new film comes on the heels of Midsommar — a Florence Pugh-led folk horror that bowed to critical acclaim in 2019, grossing over $47.9MM at the global box office. He prior to that made his feature directorial debut with the Toni Collette-led psychological horror Hereditary, which garnered rave reviews and netted over $82.5MM worldwide.
Other upcoming releases for A24 include Jesse Eisenberg’s feature directorial debut When You Finish Saving the World (January 20), Lukas Dhont’s Cannes Grand Prix-winning coming-of-age drama Close (January 27), which has been submitted as Belgium’s entry for the Best International Feature Oscar in 2023, and Benjamin Caron’s Sharper starring Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan, which will bow in select theaters on February 10 before premiering on Apple TV+ on February 17.
Watch the enigmatic and surreal first trailer for Beau Is Afraid by clicking above.
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