While on the surface they perhaps don’t seem like summer blockbusters, Ari Aster’s debut Hereditary and follow-up Midsommar enjoyed wide releases during the heated seasons and found quite substantial audiences. With his third feature, A24 clearly has something more peculiar on its hands. Beau Is Afraid, starring Joaquin Phoenix, will be released in the more adventurous spring frame––specifically April 21––and the first trailer has now arrived.

Though originally announced as Disappointment Blvd., this new title actually harkens back to the project’s origins. In 2011, Aster directed a short film, Beau, which would be the basis for a sequence in the feature, and an early draft of a 2014 script had circulated online. The official logline is brief (“a paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster”) and the first trailer doesn’t reveal much more, plot-wise, but does hint at quite a dark, ambitious adventure.

As noted in our 2023 movie preview, we’ve learned the film, which reportedly once had a four-hour cut, now clocks in at just under three hours. Also starring Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Stephen Mckinley Henderson, Hayler Squires, Denis Ménochet, Kylie Rogers, Armen Nahapetian, with Parker Posey, and Patti LuPone, see the trailer below.

Beau Is Afraid opens on April 21, 2023.

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