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Josh Brolin Says 'Inherent Vice' Goes "In A Direction That The Book Doesn't Necessarily Go"

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 29, 2014 1:03 PM
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Inherent Vice Paul Thomas Anderson

What do we know so far about "Inherent Vice"? Frankly, not a helluva lot outside of the fantastic ensemble cast and the return of Johnny Greenwood to the composer's podium. Even with a release date set for later this year, "Inherent Vice" was curiously absent in Warner Bros. presentation this week at CinemaCon (though we really don't see Paul Thomas Anderson being convinced by anybody to splice sizzle footage from his movie for an industry conference). But there has been one person talking loudly about the project: Josh Brolin. Last fall, the actor caught our attention by calling the shoot "great" and "absolute fucking chaos," and he's now offered up a few more tantalizing observations about the production on what kind of movie PTA may be delivering.

Chatting recently with Ireland's Independent, Brolin once again made it sound like the shooting of the movie was unlike anything he's experienced. "I just did a movie for P.T. Anderson that I didn't understand," he said. "The writing of Thomas Pynchon is so Shakespearean. It was crazy, chaotic but really, really gratifying."

So far, the biggest question around the movie was how Thomas Pynchon's tale about an inept, pot-smoking private detective who investigates the case of a kidnapped girl, who also happens to be one of his ex-girlfriends, would be adapted. Would it be a straight page-to-screen rendering? Or would PTA, like he did with Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" for "There Will Be Blood," merely use the foundation as a springboard? It appears to be the latter, with Brolin saying: "We took it I think in a direction that the book doesn't necessarily go, hoping it will work." 

Of course, this just makes us even more curious and excited about whatever PTA has cooking, and we're hoping it works, too. "Inherent Vice" arrives on December 12th.

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  • Raditya | March 30, 2014 9:39 PMReply

    This movie is sounding brilliant, in my opinion. Paul Thomas Anderson is the only director who could pull off a project this daring and unorthodox.

    Glad to hear the film strays from the novel and is telling its own story. Too many adaptations lack imagination and passion, sticking only to the strict plot of the source material. I say let the book be the book and let the film be the film.

  • Rachele | March 30, 2014 7:04 AMReply

    The book itself is so chaotic and disconnected that I worried a little when I heard that PTA was adapting it. As for the cast, I believe that Charlize Theron was originally signed for it, then dropped out; wonder why?

  • Mark | March 31, 2014 6:26 AM

    @Brian-- Then that sounds like more of a conflict with Seth MacFarlane's penis. Honestly, I don't see anyone with sound business logic turning down a PTA movie to do "Ted 2".

    Or is it "Ted II"? The mind reels.

  • Brian | March 30, 2014 10:59 PM

    Conflict with Seth MacFarlane film, which will probably make more money. She was also rumored to be in a romantic relationship with MacFarlane around the time that started shooting.

  • M | March 30, 2014 10:13 AM

    I think Charlize Theron was originally supposed to play Petunia ('a stunner in a starched cap and micro-length medical outfit, not so much an actual nurse uniform as a lascivious commentary on one') or maybe Penny ('nice flatland chick, out in search of secret hippie love thrills').

    I think this movie will be a hot mess. I don't think even the Coen brothers, as brilliant as they are, could pull it off. And was it ever even mentioned anywhere on this site that Anderson did a few days of reshoots this month?

  • Ella | March 30, 2014 1:06 AMReply

    Fantastic ensemble cast? No. The movie is SO miscast that it actually scares me a little. The more I learn about this project, the more I think it'll destroy PTA's career as a filmmaker.

  • Hank | April 27, 2014 5:49 PM

    Don't worry too much about casting. You know what PTA was able to do with Adam Sandlar in Punch Drunk Love. Brilliant film and Sandlars performance is perfect for that character and allowed him to show acting chops that adam himself probably had no idea he had.PTA is just such a great writer/director it seems hard for actors not to do
    Well in his films, they're crafted so damn well.

  • Rick | March 30, 2014 3:53 PM

    "The more I learn about this project"

    WTF is there to learn? Brolin is pretty much the only one talking. It was omitted from this piece but he said that working with PTA and Joaquin was "one of the best experiences of my life."

  • Washington | March 30, 2014 9:49 AM

    Yeah, no, easy with the melodrama

  • HAL | March 30, 2014 7:05 AM

    I think if PTA is really good in something then in choosing the right actors for his movies and get the best performances.

  • Petra | March 29, 2014 6:22 PMReply

    Nothing Josh Brolin says would make a difference. Let's just do the usual when it comes to a PTA film: just sit back and let us be taken aback our seats when this movie comes out. I mean, it's a PTA movie after all

  • ted | March 29, 2014 5:45 PMReply

    Is it just me or is Brolin nicely trying to say that he hates the movie? I have a bad feeling about this film.

  • Woody | March 30, 2014 11:02 PM

    @ELLA. Petunia Leeway appears in the book three times, all in very brief moments that are essentially throw-away moments in the story. She might get ONE real scene in the movie. You are embarrassing yourself here. Stop before it gets worse.

  • Quincy | March 30, 2014 3:51 PM

    The return of Ted the troll.

  • Parker | March 30, 2014 12:35 PM

    Angelina Jolie? Ha-ha-ha! She would be ridicolous in a serious movie. She killed her carreer, has just a miserable personal life (as an imagined-superstar, ugh...) already. Charlize Theron is cool, though.

  • sdf2 | March 30, 2014 5:16 AM

    The connection tends to connect. Angelina Jolie? lol.. Where you fired from a PA-job or something?

  • Ella | March 30, 2014 1:21 AM

    @ SDF2, HANK: Josh Brolin's experience shooting the film and the final product, the actual movie itself, are two totally different things. The final product could be a total disaster... and it probably will be. The only two things about this project that excite me a little are Phoenix and Greenwood's involvement. He hired his freakin' girlfriend to play Petunia Leeway, that alone is a major miscast! No offense to Rudolph or nothin', but that's the type of role made for an actress type like Charlize Theron or Angelina Jolie, someone with a ton of looks. And don't even get me started on Witherspoon, ughh.

  • sdf2 | March 29, 2014 6:37 PM

    He has gone on record saying that making Inherent Vice has been one, if not the best, experience of his career

  • hank | March 29, 2014 5:56 PM

    what part of "really really gratifying" translates to him hating the movie?

  • Anonymouse | March 29, 2014 4:03 PMReply

    i've no problem with films veering from source material if it's done well and accentuates filmic qualities, which, admittedly is rarely done. the book was a riot, hope the film is same.

  • tristan eldritch | March 29, 2014 3:58 PMReply

    Let's hope it's more in the vein of The Master than There Will Be Blood's hammy histrionics.

  • ernest schoenmakers | April 17, 2014 11:57 AM

    @Ella You forgot to mention Jena Malone cause this amazing actress will bring this movie to a highlight.

  • oogle monster | March 29, 2014 2:03 PMReply

    Josh Brolin is probably the worst spokesperson for Josh Brolin and any Josh Brolin films.

  • Richard Donner | March 29, 2014 4:14 PM

    Yeah...he basically is his character from "The Goonies."

  • VIC | March 29, 2014 1:31 PMReply

    I WANT A TEASER!!!!!!

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