Ari Aster Says His Next Film Will ‘Almost Certainly’ Be a Western

The “Hereditary” and “Midsommar” filmmaker first tackles absurdist comedy with April’s “Beau Is Afraid”

Getty Images

“Hereditary” filmmaker Ari Aster is poised to release his third feature film, a comedy called “Beau Is Afraid,” next month, but he has his eyes set on a very different genre for his fourth movie: the Western.

Aster told the New York Times that his next film will “almost certainly” be a Western, declining to give further details but also alluding to the fact that he and “Beau Is Afraid” star Joaquin Phoenix have another project in development. It’s unclear if that project is this Western or something else entirely.

The “Midsommar” writer/director has spoken of his desire to make a Western before. “I have a big Sirkian melodrama that I’m really excited about, too. I’ve got a Western and a sci-fi film that I’ve been building,” he told Inverse in 2019. “I really want to do a musical. I haven’t written one yet, but I love musicals. And I’ve got this gangster saga epic.”

Clearly, the guy is not lacking in ideas.

Aster burst onto the scene with his 2018 horror-drama “Hereditary,” which made waves at Sundance and spurred awards buzz for star Toni Collette’s unforgettable performance. He followed that up with 2019’s “Midsommar,” a twisted relationship cult horror-drama starring Florence Pugh that further solidified Aster as a promising new talent.

His latest is “Beau Is Afraid,” an absurdist dark comedy starring Phoenix as “an extremely anxious but pleasant-looking man” that chronicles an episodic odyssey and co-stars Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Patti LuPone.

Like “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” “Beau Is Afraid” hails from A24 and follows an Oscar domination by the studio’s 2022 hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” It opens in theaters on April 21.