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.