Joaquin Phoenix and Ari Aster are A24 all-stars. The former starred in C’mon C’mon, a charming black-and-white drama about a radio journalist who bonds with his precocious nephew that isn’t as obnoxious as it sounds, while the latter wrote and directed Hereditary and Midsommar, two of the iconoclastic studio’s biggest hits.
Hereditary was actually A24’s highest-grossing movie, with $81 million at the box office, until Everything Everywhere All At Once came along and crossed the $100 million mark. Aster has a strong enough track record — and his films have inspired countless memes, an A24 favorite — that his next movie has the studio’s biggest budget yet.
Variety reports that “Canada’s Sphere Films has signed a multi-picture deal with A24 that will cover nine of the U.S. studio’s films in the Canadian market. Under the deal, Sphere Films will theatrically release pics,” including “Aster’s Disappointment Blvd. starring Joaquin Phoenix. The latter, which has a budget of around $55 million, is believed to be A24’s biggest production to date.”
$55 million is a huge budget for an indie, but it’s a fraction of what, for instance, Netflix spent on Red Notice and The Gray Man, both of which cost around $200 million. Disappointment Blvd. will also likely have a longer shelf life than those two films, which put up big viewing numbers during their first week of release — then were never thought of again. And if Disappointment Blvd. stinks, well, the headlines write themselves.
Disappointment Blvd., which also stars Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Richard Kind (what a cast), comes out in 2023.