By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 8, 2013 at 1:55PM
Though a favorite with critics who lean toward the arthouse, Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" wasn't quite the box office or awards season contender many had predicted. But as usual, for his next effort Anderson is zigging instead of zagging, going off in another unpredictable direction, with something that will have a bit more mainstream appeal. And it looks like the helmer is continuing to attract big-name talent to work with him.
"Inherent Vice," Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel, is gearing up, with the director stating in December that he hoped to shoot it this year. And it looks like those plans are beginning to germinate, and Showbiz 411 reveals that not only is Robert Downey Jr. likely still attached, but Charlize Theron is "perhaps" one of those who will land a role as well, "with more names coming." The filmmaker has been working on the script for a while now (and it was likely sidelined a bit by doing the press rounds for "The Master"), but the story follows a private detective uncovering a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer in drug-kissed 1960s Los Angeles. No word yet on what Theron's role might be.
Thus far, the project has been compared in tone to "The Big Lebowksi," while Anderson said last month that he found a "research bible" in Gilbert Shelton's famous underground comic "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers," which was first published around the same time that "Inherent Vice" is set. Meanwhile, Roger Fridman claims that a source tells him, “It’s closer to 'Boogie Nights' than any of his other films.”
But of course, trying to pin down what an Anderson movie will turn out to be -- particularly one based on the work by a mercurial, reclusive author -- is a fool's errand. But we're just glad that the wheels seem to be in motion, and hopefully it won't be another multiple-year wait until his next picture.