Update: Images removed at the request of the producers.

Although he wasn’t seen in any films last year, Joaquin Phoenix is gearing up for a major 2017. Before playing Jesus Christ himself in Mary Magdalene, he’ll be leading one of our most-anticipated premieres in the Cannes Film Festival line-up. He stars in You Were Never Really Here, the long-awaited next drama from Lynne Ramsay, whose last feature was 2011’s haunting We Need to Talk About Kevin.

The first images have now landed for the drama centering around a tormented war veteran with a troubled past. He takes it upon himself now to rescue women trafficked into the sex trade, but a vengeance is awakened when something goes awry. Based on Jonathan Ames‘ novel, we are looking forward to what sounds like a spin on Taxi Driver. Ahead of the premiere next month, check out the new images above and below (via The Playlist) and expanded book synopsis via Amazon.

A hero whose favorite weapon is a hammer clearly has issues. Lots of them.

Novelist, essayist, and creator of the beloved HBO series “Bored to Death,” Jonathan Ames is celebrated not only for his comic sensibilities and devotion to the absurd but for his lurid attraction to inner demons. In this shocking and suspenseful new novella, the author goes darker than noir, with an ass-kicking and psychologically tormented guardian angel who rescues others but refuses to save himself.

A former Marine and ex–FBI agent, Joe has seen one too many crime scenes and known too much trauma, and not just in his professional life. Solitary and haunted, he prefers to be invisible. He doesn’t allow himself friends or lovers and makes a living rescuing young girls from the deadly clutches of the sex trade. But when a high-ranking New York politician hires him to extricate his teenage daughter from a Manhattan brothel, Joe uncovers a web of corruption that even he may not be able to unravel. When the men on his trail take the only person left in the world who matters to him, he forsakes his pledge to do no harm. If anyone can kill his way to the truth, it’s Joe.

“You Were Never Really Here” is a tribute to Raymond Chandler and to Donald Westlake and his Parker series, and it testifies to Ames’s versatility and capacity to entertain in any medium or genre. A character for the ages, Joe shows us, with every bent cop, junkie, and pimp he confronts, that it’s hard to be an angel in a fallen world.

Amazon Studios will release You Were Never Really Here later this year.

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