Ari Aster’s ‘Disappointment Blvd.’ with Joaquin Phoenix Is Now ‘Beau Is Afraid’ — See the First Poster

Ari Aster is giving a first look at his latest A24 film, “Beau Is Afraid,” starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Originally titled “Disappointment Blvd.,” the long-in-the-works feature is slated for a 2023 release date in theaters. The poster shows what seems to be the child version of Phoenix’s character, dressed in silk pajamas. IndieWire has confirmed “Beau Is Afraid” as the new title for “Disappointment Blvd.”

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“Midsommar” director Aster previously said his next film will be a four-hour-long “nightmare comedy” when “Disappointment” was officially announced in February 2021. While the plot remains under wraps, the film was described as an “intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.”

Aster helmed a 2011 short film also titled “Beau,” although it is unclear if “Beau Is Afraid” is related to the short. In that short film, a neurotic middle-aged man’s trip to visit his mother is held up when his keys are mysteriously taken from his door. He is subsequently haunted by an increasingly sinister chain of upsetting events.

Aster previously told IndieWire that his next feature is decidedly not a horror film. “It might take me a few movies before I wind back around to [horror], but I love horror and I’m sure I’ll be back,” Aster said.

He added one caveat: “Head trauma will ALWAYS have a place in my films.”

Along with Phoenix, Nathan Lane, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, and Parker Posey also star. Henderson confirmed the film wrapped production in October 2021.

“[Joaquin] and Ari were so simpatico, and they worked together for the whole film. I came in pretty close to the end of the shoot and so they had been working a while,” Henderson previously said. “And their way of working together was like they were really old friends. They could get upset and make up in the span of seconds, it seemed. But the work was always the better for it.”

This is Aster’s third feature behind “Midsommar” and “Hereditary,” with all three landing at A24. Aster and Lars Knudsen produce the film with A24 through their Square Peg production banner. Aster re-teams with his “Midsommar” and “Hereditary” cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, whom he met while they were film students at the AFI Conservatory, on “Beau Is Afraid.”

In addition to “Beau Is Afraid,” lead star Phoenix is reprising his role of Arthur Fleck for “Joker: Folie à Deux” alongside Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn. Academy Award winner Phoenix is also leading Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” playing the titular French ruler. The film is set to explore Napoleon’s relationship with his wife Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby. Phoenix reunites with director Scott over two decades after the duo’s 2000 Oscar winner “Gladiator.”

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