Though director Paul Thomas Anderson’s drama The Master was certainly one of the most polarizing films of 2012, it looks as if he’s tackling some more straightforward subject matter for his next feature. Anderson has been eyeing an adaptation of the Thomas Pychon novel Inherent Vice for a few years now, and he worked on nabbing financing for the pic early last year, at the same time that he got The Master financed. Last we heard, Anderson was working on the screenplay with Robert Downey Jr. keen on tackling the starring role, and now post-Master Anderson has talked a bit more about the project, revealing that he hopes to start shooting next year.
Hit the jump to see what Anderson had to say.
For those unfamiliar with the source material, Inherent Vice 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.”
While There Will Be Blood was inspired by Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, this will be a more faithful adaptation — and a new kind of screenwriting challenge — for Mr. Anderson. “It’s more secretarial,” he said. “The credit should be like ‘secretary to the author.’ ” He added that he has “a large stack of pages” and hopes to shoot next year. “But it’s no less fun. In some ways it’s just what the doctor ordered right now for me: being more selfless.”
Given the heavy and tough-to-crack nature of The Master, I’m interested to see if this “secretarial” approach to Inherent Vice will yield a more accessible film from Anderson akin to Boogie Nights. There’s no update regarding Downey Jr.’s involvement, but the actor has made no secret of his desire to work with Anderson in the past, so hopefully his schedule permits his involvement with this project.