Joaquin Phoenix And Todd Haynes Developing An NC-17 Gay Period Romance

If the wildly positive response out of Cannes is to be believed (and one should always be skeptical of Cannes “ovation” stories), Todd Haynes might be back in the awards season race with May December, his dramedy led by Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. But Haynes is already looking forward to what comes next and taking on a new challenge, namely telling a gay love story with Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix.

So Haynes has been telling any outlet that’ll listen about this new project they’re developing together. It’s an NC-17 period romance centered on two gay men. Here is what he told Indiewire

“I have more features planned. I have also episodic projects coming that are planned, that are really exciting. I’m going back to work with Kate Winslet with something she brought me for HBO. 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. 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. It’s a gay love story set in 1930s LA.”

Raymond most recently worked with Reichardt on the Michelle Williams art world drama, Showing Up, which is in theaters now.

This would be the first time Phoenix and Haynes have worked together. It’s probably not a coincidence that Phoenix is dating Rooney Mara, Haynes’ Carol star. She may have felt Haynes was the right filmmaker to bring this story to, and judging by what we’ve heard so far, she’s probably right.

It’s way too early to start speculating on much of anything at this point, except for one thing. If this project comes together as intended, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be an Oscars darling, so best to keep our eyes on it.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.