Now that Paul Thomas Anderson’s long-developing The Master is shot, cut, and out there, it’s time for PTA to look ahead to his next film and word is that he’s doing so by looking back- Inherent Vice is seemingly confirmed as his next move.
Back when it looked like PTA’s The Master was going to be another film to add to the “might have been great” list, the director was looking at an arguably more marketable project to replace it that revolved around crime novelist Thomas Pynchon’s Lebowski-like story of “a kidnapping plot aimed a real estate mogul. The story is back-dropped by the famous “Summer of love,” the arrest of the Manson family, and the private eye’s own copious pot-smoking.”
Even with Robert Downey, Jr.’s involvement the project stayed on the bubble in one of those frustrating situations where a great director was forced to hedge bets on two projects without either of them moving. Fortunately Megan Ellison swooped in and ostensibly made it possible for PTA to move on whatever project he liked and, thus, we now have The Master coursing through surprise screenings and film festivals on the way to a limited September 14th release.
According to Empire out of Venice, a conversation with PTA has revealed he’s still all about adapting some Pynchon, and Inherent Vice remains his next project in association with Ellion’s Annpurna Productions. He personally characterizes it as “like a Cheech and Chong movie. [Adapting Pychon’s work is] just gonna be great and, hopefully, fun.”
I like the idea of Anderson having fun again. With the profound weight of human darknesses weighing so heavily on his recent work, it’s easy to forget that Anderson has brought some truly hilarious and fun things to the screen in his career.