Through his first two features, Ari Aster has established himself as a voice not to be ignored in genre filmmaking. Both Hereditary and Midsommar earned their place in the pantheon of great, modern horror films, and that means all eyes are on what Aster has coming next. That takes the form of Beau is Afraid, which hits theaters in April and once again hails from the folks at A24. In a new preview of the film, we learn a little bit more about what the director has in store for us. In short, it looks and sounds wild as fuck.
The preview is packed with some glances of Joaquin Phoenix as the title character Beau, as well as some behind-the-scenes footage of a very bizarre looking film. While much of what will be contained within is being kept under wraps, the story centers on “a paranoid man as he embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother.” In the video, Aster explains, “I’ve been thinking about this movie for like ten years. There’s a part of me that can’t believe we’re making this film.”
Aster also describes it as “epic” and “jumbo,” which the footage absolutely backs up. It looks very surrealistic and chaotic. “Every detail has a detail inside of it,” Aster adds. “If you had a ten-year-old pumped full of Zoloft and had him get your groceries, that’s like this movie.” Now that’s how you sell a movie. Aster also explained that he feels the need to deliver the goods with his follow-up to Midsommar.
“I wanted to make a film where it feels like you’ve been through a life, or even through a person. I feel a great responsibility to deliver something amazing.”
While Aster didn’t dive too much into the specifics of the film’s plot, he did say something pretty noteworthy in describing the film “like a Jewish Lord of the Rings, but he’s just going to his mom’s house.” Again, pretty amazing stuff. The director punctuated his remarks by saying, “I want to put you in the experience of being a loser.” It’s only made all the more interesting because Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix is that loser in this case.
Aster wrote the screenplay in addition to producing the film alongside Lars Knudsen. The cast also includes Nathan Lane (Only Murders in the Building), Amy Ryan (The Office), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune), Hayley Squires (In the Earth), Denis Ménochet (The Beasts), Kylie Rogers (Home Before Dark), Armen Nahapetian (The Orville), Zoe Lister-Jones (The Craft: Legacy), Parker Posey (Blade 3) and Patti LuPone (Penny Dreadful).
Beau is Afraid hits theaters on April 21, check out the full behind-the-scenes video.