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Beau Is Afraid: Ari Aster Calls His Film A Twisted Version Of Lord Of The Rings

Everyone loves "Lord of the Rings," right? Whether you're a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's original series of novels or you've watched the extended editions of Peter Jackson's film adaptations upwards of fifty times each, this uber-popular franchise spawned a prequel film series and a wildly expensive original Amazon series, and there's no end in sight when it comes to more "Lord of the Rings." Apparently, a highly-anticipated upcoming indie horror movie owes quite a bit to Tolkien and Jackson as well.

In a behind-the-scenes interview (reported by Entertainment Weekly) about his upcoming movie, "Beau is Afraid," Ari Aster had some ... interesting things to say about how his film connects to "Lord of the Rings." Revealing that this film has been in the works for 10 years, Aster continued on at length, saying, "There's a part of me that can't believe we're making this film. It's epic. Jumbo. Every detail has a detail inside of it." 

Then came the "LoTR" comparison: "It's like a Jewish 'Lord of the Rings' but he's just going to his mom's house. I want to put you in the experience of being a loser."

Beau is Afraid is still shrouded in mystery

This comparison to the epic fantasy series probably isn't doing fans a lot of favors while they try and figure out what "Beau is Afraid" is even really about. Originally titled "Disappointment Blvd.," the movie's origin story has taken plenty of twists and turns on its own — when the first poster was released, some fans thought it was just named, uh, "Joaquin Phoenix," after the film's leading man.

Now, we know that the story is about Phoenix's Beau trying to get back to his mother on a wild, surreal, and supernatural journey, which does bear some resemblance to "Lord of the Rings." Other than what we've seen in the first trailer, though, audiences are still pretty much in the dark about Aster's follow-up to "Hereditary" and "Midsommar," but there's no doubt it will be entirely unsettling. Plus, with a run time of nearly three hours, there's going to be plenty for Aster fans to unpack once the film releases.

"Beau is Afraid" hits theaters on April 21, 2023.