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Todd Haynes Says New Gay-Themed Film with Joaquin Phoenix Will Be Sexually Explicit

Director Todd Haynes is hinting that there’s going to be a heady dose of explicit sexuality in his upcoming gay-themed feature with Joaquin Phoenix.

Interviewed by Variety at the Deauville American Film Festival, Haynes described the film as “a love story between two men set in the 30s that has explicit sexual content that … at least … challenges you with the sexual relationship between these two men.” The story follows the travails of the two lead characters, a Native American and a corrupt Los Angeles cop, who eventually flee to Mexico.

Haynes noted that the story for the film emerged out of discussions with Phoenix, who will likely be playing the role of the corrupt cop, since the Native American character has yet to be cast. Given the SAG-AFTRA strike, filming will probably won’t start until the middle of 2024, it’s believed.

As Haynes put it: “It all started with Joaquin having some ideas and some thoughts and just questions and images. And he came to me and said, ‘Does this connect to you at all?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, this is really interesting.’ And so we would just be on the phone talking and it developed into a script.”

It was Phoenix, added Haynes, who started “pushing it further into more dangerous territory, sexually.” The film will be rated NC-17.

Haynes is now in the midst of a promotional campaign for his May December film that stars Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, and that was partly inspired by the Mary Key Letourneau scandal. Describing his experience in making the film as “superb,” Haynes says he hopes to work with many of the same people in his new venture.

As for the yet-unnamed project with Joaquin Phoenix, Haynes was quoted as saying: “Everyone is already engaged on this next one and can’t wait. We have everybody already doing stuff on it, research stuff.”

The acclaimed director added: “And yeah, we’re talking to Mexican producers, co-producers. We might want to shoot the whole thing in Mexico, so that we can build our Los Angeles of the 30’s there, and stretch our resources and work with the amazing craftspeople of Mexican cinema. That would be my dream. We’re hoping all that works out.”

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Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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