Paul Thomas Anderson might be one of the most lauded and devoutly-followed filmmakers working today, but he's hardly been Mr. Prolific of late; three films in the last decade in "Punch Drunk Love," "There Will Be Blood," and this year's "The Master," each one made five years apart. But with the latter long since in theaters (some calling it the best movie of 2012, others expressing disappointment), Anderson's looking to the future, and suggesting that we might have a shorter wait for his next movie.
In an expansive interview with the New York Times about the making of "The Master," Anderson talks about the future, confirming that his next film, as long expected, will be an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice," with the paper revealing that the writer-director has "a large stack of pages" from the script, and that he plans to get before cameras next year.
We've known that his adaptation of the counter-culture noir from the "Gravity's Rainbow" author — the first authorized adaptation of one of the writer's works — has been on the way for a while, with Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, who were also behind "The Master," backing the film. But Anderson says that we should expect a more faithful adaptation than "There Will Be Blood" was of Upton Sinclair's "Oil!," saying of the adaptation process "It's more secretarial. The credit should be like 'secretary to the author'… but it's no less fun. In some ways it's just what the doctor ordered right now for me: being more selfless."
But Anderson won't confirm the Times' suggestion that Pynchon might be directly collaborating on the work, saying that "I would get dangerously close to betraying trust." But the indication is certainly there that Pynchon's involved in some capacity. And the filmmaker seems to be drawing inspiration from other sources too, saying that he's found a "research bible," in the shape of Gilbert Shelton's famous underground comic "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers," which was first published around the same time that "Inherent Vice" is set.
What isn't clear right now is if Robert Downey Jr, who was initially reported as being involved with the project, is still attached; the megastar is expected to shoot "The Judge" in the near future, but he could squeeze it in between before further "The Avengers" and "Sherlock Holmes" movies towards the end of next year, if Anderson sticks to his date. Either way, it's exciting to know that we could be getting another PTA joint as soon as the end of 2014.