Owen Wilson is reportedly in negotiations for a role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s (The Master) upcoming crime thriller Inherent Vice, based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon. Although Wilson’s representative declined to comment, it is believed he will play a lead role opposite the exceptional Joaquin Phoenix. Set in 1970 Los Angeles, Inherent Vice tells the Lebowski-esque story of pot-smoking private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) as he investigates the alleged kidnapping of a girl he used to date. The cast may also include Benicio del Toro, playing a lawyer who helps the protagonist. Hit the jump for more details.
According to The Wrap, Charlize Theron is rumored for the female lead. Warner Bros. will finance and distribute the film, as opposed to Megan Ellison, who funded Anderson’s previous work The Master with her company Annapurna Pictures. Anderson will produce the film via his production company Ghoulardi Film Co., along with JoAnne Sellar and Daniel Lupi. Vice looks to begin production later this month.
I must say I have mixed feelings about Wilson starring in an Anderson film, even if I like the fact that the director is branching out from his usual brilliant crew, which includes the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, and Philip Baker Hall. Although this film will be comedic, and Wilson generally shines in comedy, I wonder if he is dynamic enough for an Anderson film. Quirky director Wes Anderson has done a good job of drawing surprising depth from Wilson, but I still have my doubts. However, Anderson proved many doubters wrong by drawing out exceptional depth in Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love. Additionally, I initially was unsure of his casting of Phoenix until I saw the first trailer for The Master, which blew me away. Consequently, I will choose to trust the consummate director and say that any P.T. Anderson news is good news.
Here’s the book synopsis:
It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists. [Book Browse]