Todd Haynes is cooking up his next film, which he’s described as “a gay love story set in 1930s LA.” And it looks like he’s found the right co-writer in Joaquin Phoenix, who Haynes said pushed him to “go further” with the script so it’d wind up with an NC-17 rating.
“The next film is a feature that’s an original script that I developed with Joaquin Phoenix based on some thoughts and ideas he brought to me,” Haynes told IndieWire recently while at Cannes. “We basically wrote with him as a story writer. Me and Jon Raymond and Joaquin share the story credit. And we hope to be shooting it beginning early next year.”
“Joaquin was pushing me further and going ‘no, let’s go further,'” Haynes added. “This will be an NC-17 film.”
Haynes is currently at Cannes promoting May December, his upcoming film starring Natalie Portman and Juliane Moore. Following its premiere, Netflix finalized a deal to purchase its distribution rights for a release later this year. Until then, we can revisit some of the filmmaker’s modern queer classics like like Velvet Goldmine, Poison, and Carol — and if those are his baseline, then whatever Phoenix has in mind is sure to be unforgettable.
In 2021, Haynes shared The Velvet Underground, a documentary about the eponymous band. Phoenix recently appeared in Ari Aster’s absurdist horror-comedy Beau Is Afraid, and will next reprise his role as Joker in Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux opposite Lady Gaga.