Ari Aster

Hereditary director lines up cast for new horror project

Contributed by
Jul 30, 2018

With Hereditary proving to be the horror sensation of 2018 so far, the writer and director of the film is moving forward quickly with his next production.

According to Variety and Collider, Ari Aster has lined up the main cast for his second full-length feature, titled Midsommer. Actors Will Poulter (The Maze Runner), Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), and Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) are all reported to be nailing down lead roles in the film, which will begin shooting in Hungary next month.

The movie follows a young couple who join friends on a vacation to a remote Swedish village, ostensibly as a way to improve their relationship and help the woman (the Pugh role) get over the loss of several family members.

At first they are welcomed to the bucolic village and enjoy the inhabitants' "back-to-nature" way of life, but they are soon introduced to a series of dark, violent rituals that reveal the true nature of the hamlet and the people who live there.

Aster himself described it as an "apocalyptic breakup movie" to Film Comment and recently told the The Hollywood Reporter that, while it's a horror film, it may be his last for a while:

"It's Scandinavian folk horror. That is the only other horror movie I have. And I'm pretty sure that's going to be it for a long time. I love the genre, I consider myself a genre filmmaker in that I want to play in every genre. I would love to make a musical. I have 10 other scripts that I've written that I want to make and there are other things I have. I'm writing a sci-fi film and there are at least four or five movies that I have ready to go that I am excited about making that I'd like to do in succession."

Hereditary was an authentically frightening horror film — one of the best in years — and a box-office hit ($70 million worldwide and counting, the biggest ever for distributor A24), so naturally a follow-up in the genre by Aster is going to be of maximum interest. While Hereditary seemed like his take on films like Rosemary's Baby, Midsommer sounds more like a creepy variation on films like The Wicker Man (the surreal 1973 cult classic, not the maligned Nicolas Cage remake).

His remark about writing a sci-fi film is intriguing as well, since it will be fascinating to see what he does with that genre. Based on Hereditary, how do you think Aster would fare with sci-fi? And are you ready for more of his brand of horror with Midsommer?

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