Anyone who really thought there might be bad blood between director James Gray and his Two Lovers star Joaquin Phoenix can now truly rest easy. The actor started his I’m Still Here ‘retirement/rapper’ schtick during the promotion of Two Lovers, arguably overshadowing the film, and there was talk at the time that James Gray wasn’t thrilled with the turn of events. But he was, of course, in on it, and said they would definitely work together once more. (The two have quite a history together, also having collaborated on The Yards and We Own the Night.)

Now, in a move that should please anyone who likes to see the development of a great actor/director team, they’re poised to work together again on a film called Low Life. And there is an impressive¬† cast developing around Joaquin Phoenix, with Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner as the current big co-stars.

Deadline has a lengthy plot synopsis that I’ve trimmed a bit for the spoiler-sensitive, but which is still more detailed than some might like:

[Marion] Cotillard will play a woman attempting to immigrate from Poland. Her American dream turns into a nightmare. While sailing to Ellis Island and a new start, her sister grows deathly ill and she is forced to trade sexual favors for medicine and food to keep her sister alive…she falls prey to a charming sleazebag (Phoenix), who persuades her to turn tricks in New York. Renner is close to signing on to play the sleazebag’s cousin, a magician who sweeps the young woman off her feet and is her best chance to escape the nightmarish life she has fallen into.

That these three actors are all busy this year: Marion Cotillard has a new family and The Dark Knight Rises; Jeremy Renner has The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy; and Joaquin Phoenix is doing that little movie with Paul Thomas Anderson. So Low Life won’t shoot until 2012. Let’s just hope this cast stays together until the point where cameras can roll.

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