Joaquin Phoenix set for Woody Allen’s ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ follow-up

As usual, Woody Allen shows no signs of slowing down. He's prolific as ever and with “Magic in the Moonlight” right around the corner this summer, he's already lining up his next. And today brings news of the first casting decision: Joaquin Phoenix.

It's a general chore to write up these early news briefs on Allen films because we are always in the dark as to plot in the early stages. The films never even have titles when the casting deals start circulating. Mostly it just becomes a time to consider the idea of Allen working with this or that actor for the first time, and Phoenix is a fascinating choice.

Phoenix is in the midst of a pretty prolific streak himself lately, and a varied one at that. He's fresh off Spike Jonze's Oscar-winning “Her” last year, in which he was pretty phenomenal. He has James Gray's “The Immigrant” coming this summer and Paul Thomas Anderson's “Inherent Vice” could make him a four-time Oscar nominee when it rolls around.

Allen, meanwhile, has also been on a pretty good tear. Both “Midnight in Paris” and “Blue Jasmine” were fixtures on the awards circuit. But of course, the danger with putting out a film almost every single year is that they can't all be winners. Films like “To Rome with Love” and “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” may have their fans, but they're considerably lesser-than when stacked up next to some of his latter-day gems.

We'll see where this one lands on the spectrum, but Phoenix working with the director is intriguing alone. All actors take on a certain presence when they're in an Allen film and seeing Phoenix wade into those waters will be fun.

More as we know it…

“Magic in the Moonlight” opens on July 25.