'Disappointment Blvd.': Ari Aster Directing Joaquin Phoenix In New Film From A24

Ari Aster and Joaquin Phoenix are teaming up for Disappointment Blvd., a title that's coming from Aster's buddies over at A24. The indie distributor pumped out Aster's Hereditary and Midsommar, so it makes sense that the director would want to stick with them. We don't know much about the title just yet, but the official word is that it'll be a "decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time." Aster has dropped several hints about what his new movie might be about in the past, but it's unclear if he was talking about this project.

The news about Disappointment Blvd. comes from Deadline, which reports that Joaquin Phoenix has been circling the project for a while. When the Oscar-winner finally committed to the role, the title was shopped around to several studios – but ultimately, A24, the studio behind Ari Aster's previous two films, won out. Deadline adds that the film is "an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time."

But Aster has been talking about his next movie for a few months now, and I'm wondering if the project he's been teasing matches up with that description. Back in June of 2020, Aster said that his next movie was going to be a "nightmare comedy." He also added that the film would be four hours long. Now, Aster could've been exaggerating there, or joking around. But he's certainly no stranger to lengthy runtimes – the theatrical cut of Midsommar is 148 minutes, while the director's cut clocks in at 171 minutes.

In November of 2020, word surfaced that Aster's new movie was going to be "a surrealist horror film set in an alternate present." This was an unconfirmed rumor and didn't come from Aster himself, but the November story did mention the potential involvement of Phoenix, adding that the actor "would play an extremely anxious but pleasant-looking man who has a fraught relationship with his overbearing mother and never knew his father...When his mother dies, he makes a journey home that involves some wild supernatural threats."

So I have to wonder: is Disappointment Blvd. the four-hour nightmare comedy Aster was talking about? And are the rumors about "wild supernatural threats" part of the plot? We're going to have to wait and see. Aster will write and direct the pic, and he'll produce along with Lars Knudsen. I'm a big fan of Aster's work – I loved Hereditary and I think I loved Midsommar even more. So I'm all-in on whatever he does next. Throwing in Phoenix, who is one of the best actors of his generation, just sweetens the deal.