Back in October of 2008 Joaquin Phoenix declared that he would be retiring from acting, to pursue a career in music. It was unfortunate that when he said "music," he really meant grow out a beard and start acting like a crazy person. Phoenix surprised everyone, when it was revealed that he would be taking on rap, rather than something akin to his singing in Walk the Line. An incoherent, indiscernible, and incomprehensible debut performance in Las Vegas, which included self-ass-slapping dance moves, didn't give him the street cred he was looking for. But more importantly, it sparked debate to whether or not this was all a hoax, and that the documentary Casey Affleck was shooting was more of a Spinal Tap meets Borat mockumentary.
But it was Phoenix's bizarre Andy Kauffman-like appearance on David Letterman, while promoting "his last" film, James Gray's Two Lovers in Februry 2009, that either sealed the deal on the crazy, or was all the proof you needed to write this off as an extremely persistent joke.More than a year later, the announced Sean Combs-produced album has nevermaterialized, and we're still waiting to see what has become of Affleck's footage.
But now it is being reported that Joaquin Phoenix will be making his return to acting. Oscar winning sound recordist Resul Pookutty revealed to the MumbaiMirror:
I couldn’t be happier because I am doing a period film. It is a very special challenge because I have to recreate the sound textures of New York in 1854. It’s an adaptation of The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower and based on an eerie real-life experience of author Edgar Allan Poe which happened just months before his death. Joaquin plays Edgar Allan Poe.
Stories like this aren't usually/ever broken by a person in Pookutty's field, so like The Playlist, we're gonna keep our expectations in check, since there is no other casting or directors attached. But if they are hiring a tech crew for sound design, the project must be pretty far along in development.
Director James McTeigue will also be taking on Poe in the fictional mystery-thriller The Raven, set to star Jeremy Renner, but Stashshower's book looks to lend itself to more of a non-fiction dramatic affair.
I think this would be a pretty interesting role for Phoenix. I'm excited for any news that puts him bac in front of the camera, and away from the microphone.
Here's a synopsis of the book, check it out, and let us know what you think of Phoenix's likley return to acting, and whether or not you think he'd make a good Edgar Allan Poe.
Publisher's Weekly Book Synopsis:
The author of Edgar winner Teller of Tales now recounts the story of Manhattan tobacco store clerk Mary Rogers, a mysterious beauty whose posse of admirers made her a minor celebrity in 1841 in various newspapers' society pages. The discovery that year of her mutilated corpse fueled a public outcry and a newspaper circulation war, as well as a fictional magazine serial by Edgar Allan Poe featuring his famous detective Dupin speculating on the murder of working-class Parisian "Marie Rogêt." Poe rightly deduced that Mary wasn't a victim of the gang violence that plagued New York City in the absence of an effective police presence. But he came late to the accepted theory that Mary had died of a botched abortion and had to tweak his final installment to maintain his and Dupin's reputations. Although Stashower's account bogs down in comparisons of Poe's revisions of the Rogêt manuscript, it's a generally absorbing account of the birth of the modern detective story. The sordid details of Mary Rogers's stunted life pale in comparison with Poe's own love-starved childhood, self-destructive tidal wave of alcoholism, poverty and rants against publishers and rivals; Poe's genius and literary legacy are hauntingly drawn here.