Joaquin Phoenix’s year of living on the wildside is bound for the big screen.
The movie chronicling bizarre Phoenix’s Oct. 2008 decision to retire from acting and reinvent himself as a hip-hop artist has been picked up by independent distribution company Magnolia Pictures and will arrive in theaters Sept. 10.
I’m Still Here was helmed by Phoenix’s brother-in-law — actor Casey Affleck, making his directorial debut. Phoenix, 35, was nominated for an Oscar for playing country singer Johnny Cash in the 2005 biopic Walk the Line. However, the months following his “retirement” were marked by a series of bizarre public appearances — including a notable one on the Late Show with David Letterman. The once clean-shaven Joaquin also adopted the shaggy look of a “bushy-haired stranger.” Last year, he said he was working on a mostly self-produced album with the help of money-grubbing hip-hop mogul Diddy. Despite industry watchdogs’ lingering suspicion that Phoenix’s transformation was all part of one big hoax, distributors insist the feature is not a mockumentary.
In a press release Wednesday, Magnolia describes the film as: “sometimes funny, sometimes shocking and always riveting, the film is a portrait of an artist at a crossroads. Defying expectations, it deftly explores notions of courage and creative reinvention, as well as the ramifications of a life spent in the public eye.”