Todd Haynes’ Joaquin Phoenix Movie Starts Filming in Mexico in July

Todd Haynes’ upcoming film starring Joaquin Phoenix will start shooting in July in Sonora and Jalisco in Mexico. The plot revolves around Richard Rent (Phoenix), a volatile cop in 1930s Los Angeles, and Joe Thomas, a deeply assimilated Native American schoolteacher. In the wake of a mysterious double murder, the two become targets of the city’s corrupt political machine, forcing them to flee to Mexico to survive. There, in the humid jungles of the Western coastline, as the threat of global war looms, they enter a brutal, passionate love affair that rearranges their perceptions of the past, the future, and themselves.

Haynes is known for directing ‘Far from Heaven,’ ‘Dark Waters,’ ‘The Velvet Underground,’ and ‘I’m Not There.’ He also helmed Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore-starrer ‘May December.’ The script is penned by Haynes, along with Jonathan Raymond (‘First Cow,’ ‘Showing Up,’ and ‘Night Moves’). Phoenix, in addition to starring, shares a writing credit.

Phoenix is currently the only star attached to the project. The Academy Award-winning actor is known for his roles as Arthur Fleck/Joker in ‘Joker,’ Johnny Cash in ‘Walk the Line,’ Freddie Quell in ‘The Master,’ and Bruno Weiss in ‘The Immigrant.’ In an interview, director Haynes revealed that Phoenix is the one who came up with the idea for the film.

“He [Phoenix] had fragments of ideas and then I started to formulate them into an actual narrative. And then I brought my wonderful, brilliant friend John Raymond, with whom I collaborated with on ‘Mildred Pierce’ into the process. Basically, it was just this wonderful, organic way to create the script. And Joaquin was pushing it further into more dangerous territory, sexually,” Haynes told Variety.

Haynes disclosed that the movie is going to have sexually explicit scenes. “It’s a love story between two men set in the 30s that has explicit sexual content that or at least, it challenges you with the sexual relationship between these two men. One is a Native American character and one is a corrupt cop in LA. It’s set in the 30s. They have to flee LA ultimately and go to Mexico. But it’s a love story and with a strong sexual component,” added the filmmaker.

Mexico, where the shoot will commence, has earlier facilitated the production of several films and television shows such as ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ ‘Stranger Things,’ and ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.’

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