Back in January, we shed light on Paul Thomas Anderson’s next feature, the long-discussed adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. As the first authorized cinematic revisiting of the author’s work, the project was announced back in 2010 and has since made its way around the rumor mill, with various speculations as to who would comprise of the cast, just when it would begin production, and who would backing the film.
And today, Cigarettes & Red Vines announced that shooting is set to go underway this month, thanks to finding its backing from Warner Bros. It was assumed that Annapurna Pictures, who financed and saved The Master would be taking on the project. But in an "amicable" decision, WB has taken the reigns and will mark PTA’s first time working with the studio. With Robert Downey Jr. initially as the leading candidate to take on the role of Sportello—a stoner detective in Pynchon’s counter-culture noir—Joaquin Phoenix is now slated for the role, after he and Anderson’s impressive work together on The Master. As for the rest of the cast, nothing has been announced but it’s safe to assume we’ll be getting a deluge of updates on that later this month as production kicks off.
In addition, although Mihai Malaimare Jr. gave us the incrediblly vast and stunning world of Freddie Quell and Lancaster Dodd, Robert Elswit will in fact be reprising his role of cinematographer on this one. After working on all of PTA’s films, save The Master, the Oscar-winning DP will be reunited with his old pal, shooting Inherent Vice on 35mm—no digital. Centering on the story of said Sportello uncovering a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer in 1960s Los Angeles, the film will apparently be PTA’s "first foray into comedy." However, as we noted a few months back:
Lest we forget, Punch-Drunk Love—an early-Altman-esque film about an emotionally inept man who collects pudding to amass frequent flyer miles and has a crying problem, who falls in love with an equally bizarre woman, in a world where aesthetics and mood go hand in hand while pieces of Jeremy Blake’s abstract art are spliced like tonal cue cards between moments—was Anderson’s attempt at a mainstream romantic comedy.