When first announced that Paul Thomas Anderson is planning to adapt the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice, it was noted that Anderson’s agency hoped to attach another client, Robert Downey Jr., to the project. Flash forward to last week: Anderson is close to finding financing for Inherent Vice, and Downey is said to be interested in the role. Risky Business posted a report this weekend that indicateds Downey’s commitment to the film has “recently grown serious,” with plans to shoot Inherent Vice in the fall.
Downey recently wrapped production on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, with The Avengers up next on his schedule and Iron Man 3 in early 2012. But his departure from Oz the Great and Powerful left an opening on his post-Avengers calendar. More after the jump:
Downey’s involvement could leapfrog Inherent Vice over the religious drama The Master on Anderson’s slate. The Master lost Jeremy Renner when it was postponed indefinitely late last year. The Master is again close to financing thanks to 25-year-old billionairess producer (and my new crush) Megan Ellison, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is still interested. But Iron Man/Sherlock Holmes tends to sway more hearts and minds in Hollywood than Caden Cotard/Truman Capote. This is Paul Thomas Anderson, though, so we win either way.
Actually, Inherent Vice is the safer bet. As “a not-so-thinly-veiled stand-in for Scientology that examines the human need to believe in a Creator,” The Master is an opus poised to swallow the greatest of directors. Even the one who somehow made Magnolia not annoying.
But Inherent Vice, a shaggy dog detective story, sounds like pure fun. Here’s the 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]