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“Let’s Go Further”: Joaquin Phoenix Pushed NC-17 Rating For Next Movie

Joaquin Phoenix’s next movie will be a gay love story and will apparently be rated NC-17. With performances in Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master, and Joker, Phoenix has emerged as one of the most talented and distinguished actors of his generation. Since winning the Academy Award for his performance in Joker, he has starred in the indie films C’mon C’mon and Beau Is Afraid and recently wrapped filming on a Joker sequel titled Joker: Folie à Deux.

At the Cannes Film Festival, where his new film May December premiered, director Todd Haynes revealed he is working on a project with Phoenix. In an interview with IndieWire, the filmmaker said the new movie is based on an original script he developed with the Oscar-winning star, which is “a gay love story set in 1930s LA.” Haynes also said that Phoenix pushed for the film to be rated NC-17. Read what Haynes shared below:

May December, which was directed by Haynes and stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, premiered at Cannes to rave reviews and was quickly acquired by Netflix. Now, the filmmaker is already working on another romantic drama with another notable star. It sounds like Phoenix was instrumental in developing the NC-17 gay love story with Haynes and his frequent collaborator Jonathan Raymond. Those familiar with the director’s filmography will know he’s no stranger to romantic period dramas or LGBTQ+ films, having made Carol, Far From Heavens, Poison, and Velvet Goldmine.

The team-up between the auteur and actor sounds like a match made in heaven. Haynes was willing to push his upcoming film as far as Phoenix wanted it to go in terms of portraying adult subject matter, likely resulting in an NC-17 rating. The Oscar-winning actor’s performance shouldn’t disappoint either given his reputation for fully committing to his roles. Since the director hopes to shoot the film early next year, it sounds like this will be Joaquin Phoenix’s next project, though his dance card is already quite full with Ridley Scott’s Napoleon and a second collaboration with Ari Aster.

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