Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Benicio Del Toro Lawyers Up For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' With Joaquin Phoenix

News
by Edward Davis
May 6, 2013 10:38 PM
9 Comments
  • |

Paul Thomas Anderson's latest, "Inherent Vice" is a major gear shift for the director of the much more opaque and sinister "The Master" and "There Will Be Blood." The filmmaker's talked about making a pure comedy for quite some time, and while we wonder if it'll ever happen (PTA's sensibilities thankfully being a little too askew), perhaps this adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's idler gumshoe novel will be the closest he gets for some time. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, "Inherent Vice" reads something like Raymond Chandler meets the Venice Beach slacker stereotype of that era mixed in with just a smidgen of "Cheech & Chong." The novel, like the film, follows an inept, pot-smoking private detective Doc Sportello (played by Joaquin Phoenix) as he investigates the case of a kidnapped girl, who also happens to be one of his ex-girlfriends. It's very much The Big Sleep” meets Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" (another Chandler adaptation) and it should be interesting to see PTA take a more loose and languid approach to this hazy age of cannabis and low-gear layabouts (and yes, it's "The Big Lebowski"-esque on the surface, but it's also its own beast).

Meanwhile The Wrap is reporting that Benico del Toro has joined the cast. He will play Sportello's shady attorney who's acutally not an actual criminal lawyer, but gives counsel nonetheless to the protagonist and helps him get out of tight spots. It's not a major role in the book, but del Toro is known for scene chewery, so it could be a fun bit of scene-stealing. "Inherent Vice" should start shooting later this month and they'll be doing it on Warner Bros. dime, not Annapurna Pictures as previously thought.

Several key characters have yet to be cast including the aforementioned female Shasta Fay Hepworth, who comes to Doc's doorstep, but then mysteriously disappears, her new boyfriend real estate mogul Mickey Wolfmann and Lieutenant “Bigfoot” Bjornson, a L.A.P.D. officer who is Sportello's constant nemesis, to name just a few major roles. Character actor Kevin J. O'Connor ("There Will Be Blood," "The Master") has also joined the cast in an undisclosed role according to PTA's fansite, but we're assuming it's probably not one of the meatier ones. Charlize Theron was once rumored for a role, presumably that of Shasta, but nothing's come to pass of that report it seems. More casting news should turn up soon.


Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

9 Comments

  • BEF | May 7, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    YES!!! I have loved Benicio since the 90s but the good roles have dropped off (outside of collaborations with Soderbergh); if he could do this AND still do Scorcese's Silence, we've got a big comeback!! (He'll probably be edited out of Malick, I assume). I am not a multiple exclamation mark guy, but that just happened here.

  • Doug | May 7, 2013 9:18 AMReply

    Don't get "The Big Lebowski" comparisons. It's not a shaggy weed riff on Chandler like the Coens' film.

  • Ed | May 7, 2013 1:30 AMReply

    Michael Shannon for Bigfoot.

  • Edward Davis | May 7, 2013 8:12 AM

    Love this choice.

  • dolemitemuthaTRUCKA | May 6, 2013 11:36 PMReply

    charlize and joaquin worked well in james grays opus the yards

  • rudeboy | May 6, 2013 11:34 PMReply

    LOVE DEL TORO but wasnt Sancho, who wasnt shady but GOOFY like in his mid to late 20s, anyway thats how I read it, i remember Sancho being shushed like a kid after sportellos arrest and even when sportello calls sancho from the can, sancho in the middle of bong hits and and penetrating analyzation of cartoons. Not that this activity is limited to young folk but upon reading pychons text if I had to compare this character to a previous film character he would be like the jack nicolson from easy rider.

    Del toro is amazing but isnt he just rehasing fear and loathing except that this is a bit more goofy
    where as fear and loathing was off the wall warped excess this is stoned out goof shenanigans, bored to death with Coen bros bite and the cinematography of Michael chapman

    speak of cinemotgraphy, that is the most exciting part of this movie, I hope he goes for a look altman in long goodbye, or in like a 70s de palma movie like obsession. I guess they call it soft focus, that jodie foster movie Foxes has the look of how I feel lighting should be for this movie, if that makes any sense

    - r

  • rabiman | May 6, 2013 11:25 PMReply

    I liked this project better when it was called "The Big Lebowski"

  • oogle monster | May 6, 2013 10:53 PMReply

    WOW. He was really great in Savages (even though the film sucked). Looking forward to seeing who is cast as Shasta. I REALLY hope Charlize comes around to her senses and drops the stupid Seth McFarlene film and does this one instead. I'd be content with Amy Adams, Mulligan, or Felicity Jones as well. Hear that PTA? Please thy Oogle!

  • The Seeker | May 6, 2013 10:57 PM

    I don't think Adams is going to be casted because of the promotion of Man of Steel

Email Updates