Joaquin Phoenix has yet to pull the trigger on his first major film role following the release of I’m Still Here, the documentary that catalogued his very real, if ultimately temporary and artistically meta-textually motivated, career self-destruction. I always supported the film, reviewed it very positively, and my appreciation really only grew when Casey Affleck pulled back the curtain. All of that said- shit’s over with and Phoenix needs to get back in the game but quick. I’m sure he’s been carefully considering his comeback role and whether it should be in the form of a respectably-dramatic prestige turn, or something larger- if he wants to come back blockbuster style then he has the opportunity to do so in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. According to Deadline the role of Henry, the “mythic, ageless figure who turns Lincoln into an axe-throwing expert slayer of vampires” is Joaquin’s to take if he cares to sign on the line that is dotted.
The production of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has been a high-profile one, starting with showy studio antics and lately culminating in the casting of Benjamin Walker as Abe- all of which has been keeping the spotlight on what could be the first of many supernaturally revisionist historical comedies. The film won’t be released for well over a year though, so who knows what the public mood will be towards vampires and zombies by then (for the love of Jeffrey, let it be “considerably cooled”), and if Joaquin sneaks into any kind of smaller scale film between now and then it may not even end up as his prodigal performance.
It’s hard to say what Phoenix would be like in a role like this when you consider the vast majority of his pre-breakdown parts were intensely dramatic. Phoenix’s cheek is not a place his tongue often finds itself in, so this could actually serve as interesting departure for him, even if it’s in a big blockbuster picture.
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