While few films have begun production, especially stateside where the coronavirus is still raging uncontrollably (like your freshman roommate in college), word has come out that Paul Thomas Anderson’s new 1970s-set ensemble drama has official started (via The Film Stage).
Based on photos people took this weekend, Anderson’s new film, with the codename Soggy Bottom, we can see that Bradley Cooper has reported for duty in his finest 70s attire (one of the only confirmed cast members, and only because people noticed him on set) and that musical group Haim, who have longstanding associations with Anderson (his mom was their teacher growing up and Anderson has since directed a number of music videos for the group and took the photo that adorns the cover of their brilliant new album), will have a cameo in the film.
Not much is known about the project currently known as Soggy Bottom (Phantom Thread was a codename until PTA couldn’t think of anything better and The Master was only titled after a film blog read the untitled script and haphazardly assigned it the name) besides that it is a return to Anderson’s roots making sprawling, Altman-esque dramas set in the San Fernando Valley (filming captured by locals happened in Encino). One of the characters is supposedly a talented child star (Cooper is supposedly a producer/director type who takes a shine to the kid). Everything else remains shrouded in mystery. Originally Soggy Bottom was supposed to be a Focus Features production but it has since moved to MGM where Anderson’s old collaborator and biggest supporter Michael De Luca is now running the show.
While this isn’t a lot to go on, the fact that there’s a new Anderson film in production is (of course) great news, especially after the glory that was Phantom Thread, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director (it ended up winning Best Costume Design for Mark Bridges, who also took home a waterski that night). Whatever PTA wants to unleash, we are here for it.