Back in December 2010, we reported that writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson was considering an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s Inherent Vice possibly starring Robert Downey Jr. as pothead private detective Larry “Doc” Sportello. In 2011, Anderson tried to get financing for Vice along with his upcoming film The Master, which recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival, play at TIFF, and then open in limited release on September 14th. Anderson has now turned his attention back to Inherent Vice and is currently working on the script.
Hit the jump for more including how Inherent Vice isn’t the only Pynchon novel on Anderson’s radar.
For those unfamiliar with Inherent Vice, the story takes place in 1969 Los Angeles and has Sportello [per Empire] “helping a former lover with an intriguing and ever-so-complicated, shaggy-dog-story of a case involving infidelity, mental institutions and policemen called ‘Bigfoot’.” Anderson didn’t reveal any specific details about his adaptation other than to say, it will be “like a Cheech and Chong movie. [Adapting Pychon's work is] just gonna be great and, hopefully, fun.”
Even the funniest moments in Anderson’s movies have been tinged with sadness, so I’m curious to see him go into a mode that may be more broadly comic.
Anderson also revealed he’s hoping to adapt Pynchon’s acclaimed novel Gravity’s Rainbow, which won the 1974 National Book Award for Fiction. Per Wikipedia,
“The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertaken by several characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the “Schwarzgerät” (“black device”) that is to be installed in a rocket with the serial number “00000.”
On adapting Gravity’s Rainbow, Anderson says:
“There’s so much. But it’s fun too, be because they’re his words, and… it’s like taking your dad’s car for a ride, y’know?”
As for when we can expect to see Gravity’s Rainbow, Anderson isn’t sure:
“Hopefully not long. I’d like to have a few years of being more productive. But we’ll see.”
I haven’t read Inherent Vice and Gravity’s Rainbow yet, so I open the floor to those who have: is Anderson the right guy to tackle these adaptations?
[Correction: I misread the text of Empire's article. Here's the confusing text:
But although Anderson has been working on bringing the Gravity Rainbow author's most accessible work to the big screen for several years, it's not clear exactly when it will happen.
Since I haven't read either book, I didn't know Empire was referring to Inherent Vice as Pynchon's most accessible work and not Gravity's Rainbow. At this time, it looks like there are no plans to adapt Gravity's Rainbow.]