One of the more curious and intriguing stories of recent years was Joaquin Phoenix’s sudden, surprise retirement from acting. After years steadily building up a strong resume of performances (heck, he was even good in the risible ’8mm’), finally earning Oscar recognition with his turn in ‘Walk The Line’, it was a very strange move to learn that he wished to ditch it all in favour of a hip-hop career.

Things became more peculiar when it was reported that Casey Affleck had been following Phoenix around, filming his exploits as a bearded rapper in order to document the actor’s transition from movies to music. This, inevitably, lead to the belief that what Phoenix was in fact attempting was not a genuine career move but a mockumentary, though what the exact intention of the project was remains a secret, if, indeed there is any secret at all!

According to Deadline’s story, Affleck’s film screened for a host of potential buyers – including Harvey Weinstein – at the William Morris Endeavour headquarters, with those in attendance sworn to secrecy so the project can still retain maximum shock value. But, realistically, unless this is in fact ‘Cloverfield 2′ there can be only two real revelations:

1. Joaquin Phoenix was pretending.
2. Joaquin Phoenix was serious.

Upon viewing a notorious semi-mute Letterman appearance it seems that Phoenix is playing a character, and an appearance where he rapped and launched himself at an audience member in Las Vegas has been doing the YouTube rounds for a while. The big question mark that really hangs over this project is whether the in-joke stretches beyond those concerned, is this actually a film that anyone really wants to see?

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This article was first posted on May 7, 2010