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Robert Downey Jr. Out, Joaquin Phoenix In For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

Robert Downey Jr. Out, Joaquin Phoenix In For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice'

Joaquin Phoenix may come off as somewhat mercurial, perhaps even unapproachable, but his talent is unassailable, and it seems he forges strong creative connections. One need look no further than the four films he’s made with James Gray, and now it looks like he’s ready to re-up with his “The Master” director Paul Thomas Anderson.

THR reports that Robert Downey Jr. has passed on the upcoming “Inherent Vice,” and Phoenix is now in talks to join. Damn. While this is exactly the kind of role we were hoping RDJ would take after basically playing Tony Stark for the past few years, it’s hard to argue with Phoenix slotting in for what could be a total gear shift. Based on the book by Thomas Pynchon, the story follows a private detective uncovering a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer in drug-kissed 1960s Los Angeles.

Earlier in the month, Charlize Theron was tipped as a potential co-star with the promise of more big names to come in rounding out the cast, and obviously, things are still coming together. It does seem as if this is quickly becoming what might be the fastest turnaround between pictures for PTA. But Anderson and Phoenix back together to tackle a “Big Lebowski“-esque crime tale? Um, yeah, that works. And yes, Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures is producing.

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