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Paul Thomas Anderson Now Writing 'Inherent Vice,' Hopes To Get It "Going Soon"

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by Kevin Jagernauth
September 3, 2012 10:54 AM
18 Comments
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With "The Master" making its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend, we can now start obsessing over Paul Thomas Anderson's next movie, right? Indeed, given his patient output and increasing space between films (it has been five years each between "Punch-Drunk Love" and "There Will Be Blood," and "There Will Be Blood" and "The Master") it can be a tough wait for fans of the director's work, but the good news is he's already at work on what will hopefully be his next project.

"I’m hoping we can get 'Inherent Vice' going soon. That’s what I’m writing now," he told Screen Daily in Venice. But as folks already know, this one has already been brewing for a while. An adaptation of Thomas Pychon's novel, the project first dropped on the radar in 2010, and shortly thereafter, found financing via Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures who also backed "The Master" after Universal bailed out. The picture also seemed to gain a lead in Robert Downey Jr., who as recently as last December, was hinting very strongly at working with Anderson.

The 384-page "novella" is a bit more straightforward than usual Pynchon fare, and follows a private detective uncovering a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer in drug-kissed 1960s Los Angeles. Many reviewers have even drawn comparisons to the psychedelic noir of "The Big Lebowski." Downey Jr. is eyeing the lead role of the blissed-out investigator, and it will seemingly be another genre detour for Anderson...into stoner comedy?

"[It's] like a 'Cheech and Chong' movie. Adapting Pychon's work is] just gonna be great and, hopefully, fun" he told Empire, while also revealing he's tackling the author's opus "Gravity's Rainbow" as well. “Hopefully not long. I'd like to have a few years of being more productive. But we'll see,” he said about progress on that one.

As for the visual look of the film, and his recent embrace of 70mm for "The Master," he's keeping options open for "Inherent Vice." "It would depend on the story. It would be tempting to do it again. It’s a lovely format. The camera is as big as a table. It’s loud, too. You can hear it in the movie. It’s like a fan at times," he explained to Screen Daily.

So all this to say, "Inherent Vice" is very much in the cards. Let's just hope we don't have to wait until 2017 to see it.

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18 Comments

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  • Knative | September 3, 2012 5:41 PMReply

    I've read one Pynchon book and it sucked ass. He should do a movie about space cannibals instead.

  • Jeff | September 3, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    Anderson is a big Altman fan, and I definitely get a 'The Long Goodbye' vibe from this. I hope it comes to pass. Downey is perfect for the role.

  • Kirk Lazarus | September 3, 2012 3:03 PMReply

    how many times i try to watch PTA films,i couldn't watch them completely.they r fuckin boring.not interested in his films anyway.

  • Oogle monster | September 3, 2012 4:46 PM

    So what's the point of commenting on this post then? N00b.

  • Vinny | September 3, 2012 1:03 PMReply

    It doesn't say anywhere in the Empire article that he's tackling Gravity's Rainbow. All it says relating to that is that it refers to Pynchon as the '"Gravity's Rainbow" author.'

  • JD | September 3, 2012 1:22 PM

    Empire had a very bad typo. It said something to the effect of, "Anderson has been working on bringing Gravity's Rainbow, the author's most accessible work, to the big screen for several years." I wish I had "screenshotted" it. It was surprising because they called Gravity's Rainbow accessible. I didn't even realize that the typo had created a factual error—I thought at first that PTA was actually adapting GR, too. @joeldylan

  • DG | September 3, 2012 1:01 PMReply

    Wow this is awesome awesome news. Inherent Vice is a great book and an absolute perfect fit forAnderson. As for Gravitys Rainbow,well what can I say? It is possibly my favorite book of all time, dizzying in scope and overflowing with ideas and imagery. There is probably going to be a lot of talk about how potentially bad of an idea it is or that it is impossible to do but it's definitely worthwhile as there are enough moments that would be amazing on film- rockets screaming across the sky, brainwashed octopi, insane set pieces all over Europe, rocket man stealing hash. I think if anyone could do it right it'd be PTA and it seems like a collides to do IV first, almost like a warm up or something.

  • Cate | September 3, 2012 12:57 PMReply

    Holy crap. Best of luck to PTA with that -- I'm wary of Pynchon translating to film, but if you've got to start anywhere, Inherent Vice is a good place to start.

  • kris | September 3, 2012 12:43 PMReply

    kate winslet as Shasta Fay Hepworth. pls!

  • Bill | September 3, 2012 12:32 PMReply

    Inherent Vice is a great book. I am thrilled that PTA is adapting and that Pynchon is allowing it.

  • Benjamin | September 3, 2012 12:19 PMReply

    Can you really hear the camera in the film? The upgrade in presentation doesn't seem worth it to me if that is truly the case.

    I'm dying to see Paul do "Inherent Vice." It's VERY adaptable yet it retains a very Pynchon-esque vibe. I don't think "Gravity's Rainbow" is a good idea, though. It's a true masterpiece, but it's just too abstract. I'd like to see PTA do "The Crying of Lot 49" instead. It'd be an incredible companion piece to "Inherent Vice."

  • dudeabides | September 3, 2012 12:01 PMReply

    I bought this book just just because PTA hinted in the past that he might adapt it, that's how much I like his filmmaking. I don't think any other director could convince me to do that. Plus anything that is compared to The Big Lebowski is gravy. Judging from the story and setting (California, which PTA is very used to as a backdrop) this could be awesome. All I hope is if Downey is cast that he doesn't play a version of himself like in Iron Man, Sherlock etc. Maybe this could make him move back to more indie fare.

  • Amy | September 3, 2012 11:46 AMReply

    All I want is more PTA.... the man is a genius and so very handsome. Gah, Maya Rudolph is one lucky lady.

  • non | September 3, 2012 11:33 AMReply

    He's adapting Gravity's Raibow? Good luck with that....

  • zatopek | September 3, 2012 12:25 PM

    I don't find anywhere in that Empire article that he mentions "tackling GR" also.

  • Monica | September 3, 2012 11:01 AMReply

    Downey Jr.?? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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