Joaquin Phoenix and director Gus Van Sant haven’t collaborated on a film since 1995’s twisted comedy To Die For, the film that gave Phoenix his breakout role and essentially launched his career. The duo have since attempted to pair up on multiple projects in the last two decades but nothing has come to fruition. The most recent movie that was supposed to have Van Sant and Phoenix on set together was the 2015 film The Sea of Trees which ended up starring Matthew McConaughey and subsequently bombed in the US. So maybe it’s better that Joaquin steered clear of that debacle and went with Inherent Vice instead.
The proposed project the two want to tackle this time would center around deceased cartoonist John Callahan, who passed away in 2010 after living much of his life as a quadriplegic. Callahan suffered an injury at the age of 21 that left him wheelchair bound after which he connected with drawing cartoons as a form of therapy, eventually having his work published in places such as The New Yorker and Playboy throughout his career. Robin Williams was once rumored to star before his untimely death, but the nature of the role should be a grand artistic challenge for Phoenix as well. Perhaps resulting in another Oscar nomination to his name, and a win after 15 years of being repeatedly nominated?
Phoenix’s other intriguing project in the pipeline is a role as Jesus in the upcoming Rooney Mara starrer Mary Magdalene. His streak of choosing great roles with perfect collaborators doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon.