Is Sean Penn Joining Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice?


Paul Thomas Anderson’s next project, Inherent Vice, is continuing its mission to acquire a cast of truly unique proportions. Today’s latest rumour comes courtesy of Anderson fansite, Red Vines and Cigarettes. According to the site, Sean Penn is in the running for a role in the upcoming adaptation.

Based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice is a period piece set in the 1970s. Already cast as the lead is Joaquin Phoenix, who’ll play Larry “Doc” Sportello. A private detective with a penchant for smokin’ the herb, Sportello takes on the case of a missing girl who is coincidentally, one of his ex-girlfriends.

If Penn joins the production, the guys over at the site suggest he’d be in the running for the character of Adrian Prussia, a notorious loan shark who gets a tad brutal if he doesn’t receive payment. At this stage, it’s only a rumour but sounds like the sort of role Penn could do in his sleep. Penn was originally signed on to take the lead in Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

The last two weeks have seen a wealth of new additions join the cast. Benicio Del Toro is said to be taking the small-but-sweet role of Sportello’s attorney who constantly gets the anti-hero out of trouble. Perhaps the most unlikely star to have signed on is Owen Wilson. His most dramatic role was in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, and this time he’ll play Coy Harlingen; a supposedly-dead musician whose widow hires Sportello to track down.

This past week Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon and Martin Short all signed on too. Short’s role will be an as-yet unrevealed minor character. Witherspoon will sidle up to Phoenix, as she is set to play Sportello’s ex-girlfriend in question, Shasta Fay Hepworth. Malone has been cast as Japonica Fenway, another gal from Sportello’s past.

Inherent Vice starts production this Summer. We’ll let you know when Penn becomes confirmed.