The latest film from Ari Aster, the acclaimed writer-director of horror hits Hereditary and Midsommar, is on its way to cinemas later this year, and it's fair to say it arrives with plenty of hype and intrigue surrounding it.


Titled Beau is Afraid, the film has been described as both a "nightmare comedy" and "ingeniously depraved" - no surprise there based on Aster's previous work.

It features Joaquin Phoenix in the central role, with his co-star Stephen McKinley Henderson previously telling The Hollywood Reporter that the star had a working relationship with Aster which was as though they were "really old friends".

He said: "[Joaquin] and Ari were so simpatico, and they worked together for the whole film. I came in pretty close to the end of the shoot and so they had been working a while. And their way of working together was like they were really old friends. They could get upset and make up in the span of seconds, it seemed. But the work was always the better for it."

Read on for everything you need to know about Ari Aster's new film Beau is Afraid.

When will Beau is Afraid be released in cinemas?

Beau is Afraid will officially be released in US cinemas on 21st April 2023, so there's only a few months to wait for those who are stateside.

However, when it comes to the UK, there is currently no release date confirmed. Production and distribution company A24's films are often released later on this side of the pond, meaning it could be a little while longer before we get to see it.

That said, Ari Aster's two previous films, both of which were with A24, were released in the UK at the same time or soon after they were released in the US, meaning we may get it at the same time after all. We'll make sure to keep this page updated once a release date has been announced.

What is Beau is Afraid about?

Joaquin Phoenix in Beau is Afraid.
Joaquin Phoenix in Beau is Afraid. A24/YouTube

Very little is currently known about Beau is Afraid - all we have so far is a surreal trailer which shows Phoenix's character Beau on a journey to visit his mother, with the character's age appearing to shift as he runs into complications, chaos and cartoonish worlds.

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We also have a short synopsis for the film, which has been released by A24 - not that it clears much up. It reads: "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."

Aster himself has given little away about the film in interviews, but in June 2020 did tease the film, which was previously titled Disappointment Blvd. As reported by Daily Nexus, Aster said at the time that the film would be a "nightmare comedy" and that it would be "four hours long".

Whatever the case, it is sure to be, like Hereditary and Midsommar before it, quite the cinematic ride.

Beau is Afraid cast - Joaquin Phoenix stars

Joaquin Phoenix in Beau is Afraid.
Joaquin Phoenix and Armen Nahapetian in Beau is Afraid. A24/Twitter

The star of the film is, of course, Joaquin Phoenix as Beau, with the actor appearing to play the character at multiple points in his life (or at least at multiple ages). Meanwhile, a young version of Beau is played by Armen Nahapetian.

The rest of the cast is made up of actors such as Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune), Amy Ryan (Only Murders in the Building), Nathan Lane (The Lion King) and Patti LuPone (American Horror Story), although very few of the characters have been revealed at this point.

You can find a full list of the currently confirmed cast for Beau is Afraid here:

  • Joaquin Phoenix as Beau
  • Armen Nahapetian as young Beau
  • Stephen McKinley Henderson as TBC
  • Amy Ryan as TBC
  • Nathan Lane as TBC
  • Patti LuPone as TBC
  • Parker Posey as TBC
  • Michael Gandolfini as TBC
  • Richard Kind as TBC
  • Hayley Squires as TBC
  • Denis Ménochet as TBC
  • Kylie Rogers as TBC
  • Zoe Lister-Jones as Beau's mother (young)

Beau is Afraid trailer

You can watch the full mind-bending trailer for Beau is Afraid right here now.

Beau is Afraid will be released in US cinemas on 21st April 2023, while a UK release date is yet to be confirmed. Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide to see what's on, or visit our Film hub for more news and features.


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