Directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Terence Malick are basically the Jonathan Franzen and Thomas Pynchon of the cinematic world; they take a lot of time between works, which either means that they’re allowing projects to gestate, or they take a long time to get going. Or they can’t be bothered. But for once both PT Anderson and Malick have stepped up their game and begun releasing films like normal filmmakers – i.e. more than one every ten years. Malick has To The Wonder. And Anderson? Well, he’s planning to shoot Inherent Vice sometime next year.
In an interview with The New York Times, Anderson confirmed yet again that his next film will be an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s last novel Inherent Vice and that he hopes to begin shooting within the next year. He plans for it to be a faithful adaptation of the book, viewing his role as ‘secretarial’:
“The credit should be like ‘secretary to the author’… but it’s no less fun. In some ways it’s just what the doctor ordered right now for me: being more selfless.”
And while he won’t confirm that Pynchon himself is collaborating on the work, there’s a good chance that the author is (or will be) involved:
“It feels really good to be doing that, being a participant in his mind.”
As near as I can tell, this is a match made in heaven. Paul Thomas Anderson and Thomas Pynchon have the same sort of post-modern sensibility and loose narrative structure. Inherent Vice is one of Pynchon’s most accessible – and filmable – works. Anderson claims to be drawing further inspiration from underground comics like The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, so expect this one to psychedelically weird.
With Robert Downey Jr. still rumored to be taking on the role of stoned detective Doc Sportello and Anderson gearing up for a shoot sometime next year, there’s a good chance that we’ll be seeing this one by the end of 2014. I certainly hope that RDJ can tear himself away from The Avengers for long enough.