Warner Bros. to Finance Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE; Will Reteam with Cinematographer Robert Elswit

     May 1, 2013


As we previously reported, filming on Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s Inherent Vice will begin soon.  Today we’ve learned that Warner Bros., not the previously rumored Annapurna Pictures, who financed The Master, will be coming on board to finance the picture.  That’s a big step up in terms of visibility and ultimately promotion of the picture.  If Warner Bros. had come on as a distributor after the film successfully showed at a festival, that would be less surprising, but apparently the studio has enough faith in what is admittedly a lower-budget picture than their usual fare.  It also signals that the movie may be more mainstream than The Master, and perhaps a return to Anderson’s previous pictures Boogie Nights and Magnolia, which were released through Warner subsidiary, New Line Pictures. Cigarettes and Red Vines reports that the parting from Annapurna was “amicable” and that the two hope to work together in the future.

Hit the jump for more on Inherent Vice including the involvement of director of photography, Robert Elswit.

robert-elswitFor those unfamiliar with the story, it takes place in 1969 Los Angeles and centers on a private detective who is helping a former lover with an intriguing case that involves infidelity, mental institutions, and policemen called “Bigfoot.”  The protagonist, pothead P.I. Larry “Doc” Sportello will be played by Joaquin Phoenix.  Casting on the supporting roles is currently underway, so we should expect to hear some announcements in the near future.

But Phoenix won’t be the only one reteaming with Anderson on the picture.  According to Cigarettes and Red Vines, Anderson will also reunite with There Will Be Blood and The Master cinematographer Robert Elswit [Correction: Elswit shot all of Anderson's films except The Master, which was done by Mihai Malaimare Jr.].  It’s not surprising, but still welcome news since it means Inherent Vice will probably look as incredible as those two films.  It will reportedly be shot on 35mm film, and not 70mm like The Master, and not digital.  The larger question now becomes if Anderson will bring back Jonny Greenwood, who composed the filmmaker’s last two pictures, and There Will Be Blood editor Dylan Tichenor or The Master editors Leslie Jones and Peter McNulty.  These collaborators have helped to set a tone that’s drastically different than Anderson’s earlier work, so it will be interesting to see how his latest film will fit into the development of his style.

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  • Josh Kaye

    I’m okay with this. I love There Will Be Blood and The Master, but I love Boogie Nights and Magnolia just as much and, to me, are a bit more fun to watch. Also, Elswit has been with PTA for every one of PTA’s films.

  • jack

    YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! does this mean Megan Ellison is no longer involved? Its a shame RDJ can’t star but I’m excited to see what Joaquin Pheonix does with it

  • Andrew

    I think you guys have made this mistake before, but essentially the second lead of the film is a character named Bigfoot who is a police officer, it’s not a group of policemen or anything like that. Just wanted to clarify that for you guys.

    As a huge fan of the book, which I read as soon as I heard the rumors swirling about a possible adaptation a few years back, I can say that it is most definitely more in line with Boogie Nights than any of his other work. It has a really funny protagonist, but it is essentially a large ensemble of characters outside of that.

    I’ve heard The Big Lebowski comparisons before, and I would say that’s a pretty good comparison, although I would say that this is probably more accessible. And yeah, it’s really hilarious. Can’t wait!

  • Tim

    But Robert Elswit is shooting Ninja Turtles right now. How is he going to have time.

    • JK1193

      And he didn’t shoot The Master. That was Mihai Malaimare Jr. (and I’m still curious as to why the film got snubbed for the Cinematography Oscar), Elswit was shooting The Bourne Legacy at that time.

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