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Paul Thomas Anderson eye-balling Thomas Pynchon's INHERENT VICE?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Sorry for the question mark headline, but since this is all rumor at the moment with no solid paper trail one way or the other I figured it was appropriate. Ever since Paul Thomas Anderson's awesome sounding piss-taking of Scientology flick called THE MASTER (which was to star Philip Seymour Hoffman as a science fiction author who starts his own religion) got blocked and shelved I was waiting to hear what the man would move on to next. It could be Yogi Bear 2 and I'd be excited, but what we're likely to get is Anderson adapting Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel INHERENT VICE. The Vulture blog has the rumor which also includes a little factoid that CAA (who has the property) is really trying to get Robert Downey Jr. in as the lead character, Doc Sportello, a pothead private dick in LA during the summer of love. That'd be a helluva pairing, but keep in mind that the rumor isn't even that an offer has gone out to Downey yet, just that CAA is courting him for the role. Hell, there is no movie yet and, by all accounts, no script. Just Paul "Not WS" Anderson wants to do it and may be in the process of penning a treatment. Given their track record with Anderson specifically I'm sure they're spot on with his involvement. We'll see how this project develops, if a studio come on board and who ends up taking the lead. Any Paul Thomas Anderson movie is a good thing. I just want him to keep pumpin' them out! Here's a Pynchon narrated overview of Inherent Vice... which is probably not the best representation of the material, but at least a good starter for those unfamiliar with the story.

-Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Sounds good

    by Bruce Thomas Wayne

    PTA is the man

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Will he make it overly long and pretentious?

    by TV's Frank

    Like his other movies?

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    if he wants to be true to the author

    by wuzilla

    he'll need to be overly long and pretentious, as well as incomprehensible and self-amused. I love PTA though, so I'm down.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Sure, why not.

    by Mr Soze

    Give this guy a blank check and let him go to work. Downey makes it even sweeter

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST

    OMFG, now THAT is a cool rumor

    by WriteForTheEdit

    I haven't read this Pynchon novel but the reviews were great and it sounds like a spectacular fit for RDJr. and this director.<P>Fingers crossed!<P>Snot Soup! Pus pudding! Menstrual marmalade!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    PTA? FUCK YES. plus bring back PSH

    by Motfilms

    Make Philip Seymour Hoffman the bad guy or the homosexual groupie and I'm down.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:31 p.m. CST

    cool idea

    by rockness

    Not too many Pynchon adaptations. The only thing is I'm not so sure about RDJ. He's just so..I dunno..larger than life lately. Seems like he might detract a bit.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by rockness

    I know what you were getting at with that Pynchon diss but the source material is a very quick read that is basically a noir comedy. Also, only one or two Pynchon books even fit into that narrow stereotype. Oh well..that's life right? Everyone loves a good stereotype.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Can One of those Directors

    by D o o d

    Please change their name! I can never remember which one is which. One is a good director and the other is just pure terrible.<p>One is Paul T Anderson and the other is Paul WS Anderson! I suggest that WS should be called Bob!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Overly Long???

    by Mr Soze

    Tvs Frank go watch Paul Blart. Now Avatar that was overly long.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Sounds interesting

    by lv_426

    and it sucks that he wasn't able to make The Master. Wasn't he also interested in Metal Gear Solid at one point? That would have been something. Daniel Day Lewis as Big Boss!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    All For It

    by res8323

    However, Scientology sounds way cooler.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST

    as a huge Pynchon fan--

    by GravitysRainbow

    i'd say that if any book was easy to adapt to film, it'd be this one. dont think anyone would be able to pull of "V" or "gravity's rainbow"

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    There Will Be Blood is one of my top films of all time.

    by Dr. Samuel Loomis

    I really don't care. People can sit and piss and moan about it being too long and boring, with no substance, etc, etc. I for one, can watch it over and over and never find myself bored with it. And also picking up on so much I didn't time and time before. Not to mention its beautiful cinematography. It's in the class of Kubrick, who also has amazing cinematography.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Punch Drunk Love also doesn't get enough appreciation.

    by Dr. Samuel Loomis

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Boogie Nights is my fave ever movie.

    by DirkD13"

    PTA is amazing, and doesn't work nearly quickly enough, but if he maintains the quality of his work then I'm cool with the years between films.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Wait - No Scientology Flick??

    by Sluggolicious

    What happened! PLEASE don't tell me Hollywood producers got too afraid of the Scientology backlash and pulled the plug? You'd have to be a MAJOR pu$$y to be afraid of a group of easily mislead morons who's deadliest weapons are dumbfounded stares.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST

    As a huge Pynchon fan, also...

    by duanejones

    ...this has to be his worst novel yet, which mmay make for ease of adaptability and little else. Still, There Will Be Blood is largely considered to be considerably superior to the Upton Sinclair book Oil! on which it's based, so hope springs. Punch-Drunk Love should be required watching by anyone who spent money to see Grown Ups. And I'd love to adapt Gravity's Rainbow into a miniseries that kicks the facile Band-of-Brothers grunt-fetish heroism down the road and into the Kyrgyz Light, or something. But I won't, will I?

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 2:57 p.m. CST

    "..Blood" and "..Love" both rule and there's also...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    ..."Magnolia." That's the PTA film I own. It may not hold together quite as well as his best, but there are so many moments of insane filmic brilliance in it that it makes me giddy. And what a fucking cast.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:04 p.m. CST

    It's a terrible, terrible book

    by gruntybear

    Essentially Pynchon by the numbers transported to a SoCal hippy vibe. Bored me to tears.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Ugh, The Master isn't happening?

    by DanielKurland

    The script is so fucking good.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    D o o d

    by Rhuragh

    Just remember that the "WS" in "Paul WS Anderson" stands for "worthless shit" (just like his movies) as you'll have no trouble telling the difference between the two of them.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    hey, daniel kurland

    by GravitysRainbow

    if one were searching the interwebs, wondering where that Master would be found for reading purposes...

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Great Book

    by frongbak

    My first experience with Pynchon and I thought it was great, very funny and sexy, with a good dose of drug use and existential angst.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Terrible Book

    by frongbak

    Compared to Da Vinci code or compared to his other work?

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:42 p.m. CST

    What the fuck, PTA wanted to do an MGS movie?

    by Sardonic

    I think I'd literally cum all over the place if that happened.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Dr. Samuel Loomis.

    by notcher

    Right on man, "Blood" hasn't even begun to gain the legendary status it will have one day. I actually think it may go down as the best film of this century. Great film!!!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    had NO IDEA the master had been "blocked."

    by RedHorseVector

    that's fucking bullshit, you know that movie would have been absolutely brilliant... wow, now i'm grumpy.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Dr. Samuel Loomis is right about Punch Drunk

    by chifforobe

    It is the most flawless and affecting of PT's movies-- perfect flick. TWBB is up there-- but the ending didn't work for me. Cutting it off at some random moment would've been better than a flash-forward I think.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 3:49 p.m. CST

    agree with the Kubrick reference as well

    by chifforobe

    in connection to There Will Be Blood

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Would this be the first Pynchon adaptation?

    by Ribbons

    Unless I'm mistaken, I feel like that's a pretty noteworthy piece of information that should be relayed. Then again it's not really all that shocking, since his books don't really lend themselves to cinema all that easily. HOWEVER, I feel like Guy Ritchie could make an awesome Vineland.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST


    by ThroughTheBrokenWindowWithDancinDelroyLindo

    I hadn't heard that "The Master" wasn't happening. What the hell? It's a sad state of affairs when PTA can't make whatever the hell he wants at this point.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    Good call my friend!<p>ps. I would have loved to have seen a movie based on Scientology. Those worthless pieces of shit freaks need to be made fun of. I'm assuming it was the power they have inside of hollywood that blocked it!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    I have this deep psychological fear of Pynchon

    by Ben_Richards_Bomb_Collar

    Because I tried to read Gravity's Rainbow when I was like 14 or 15 and it made me feel stupid.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by palinode

    Anderson and Pynchon together. That's a fantastic fucking idea. Inherent Vice was funny as hell and kind of sweet - not monumental Pynchon, but very enjoyable.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:45 p.m. CST

    That would be groovy, man. Real groovy.

    by kabong

    But don't bring me Downey, man.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:46 p.m. CST

    DanielKurland, you've seen the script for The Master?!

    by StanGrossman

    Quite a little tidbit you dropped there. Is it available for others to read? How close does it stick to the true story of Hubbard and Scientology? Please elaborate, dude!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:47 p.m. CST

    by Omar B

    Pynchon's great but I don't see this really working. Much of it will go over the general audience's head and the rest of it will be a stoned RDJ.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    so disappointed

    by Billy_D_Williams

    the man made one of the best films since The Godfather...There Will Be Blood and he can't even get his movies greenlit? The Master sounded like something he was passionate about and i can't believe nobody would throw $35 million into the ring when they're wasting hundreds of millions on shit films that barely break even. still anything this man does, i'm there opening day.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    I'm surprised so many haven't heard about Master falling apart

    by Lovecraftfan

    DID AICN never report it because it was everywhere else.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Also from Renners comments it seemed it was more creative than a

    by Lovecraftfan

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 5:23 p.m. CST


    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    I've heard Pynchon compared to the boring guy at the party who knows way too much about way too much. I tried desperately (3 times!) to get through Against the Day. I finally gave up because I realized that even if I got to the end of the book it would ultimately end abruptly and in an empty fashion just like most of Pynchon's novels. His books are the ultimate shaggy dog story - entertaining, long and by the end... nothing at all.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 5:25 p.m. CST


    by Rhuragh

    The AICN editors are extremely, shall we say, "erratic", in what they choose to publish. And even when they choose to publish something, it's usually days, or even weeks, behind when other online venues have published the same information.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Thomas Pychon should write

    by Colonel Activity

    the sequel to KAZAAM! the movie about a rapping genie starring Shaquille O'Neal as KAZAAM! the rapping genie.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Imagine Gravity's Rainbow

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    Unfilmable, of course, but who would play Slothrop? Sam Rockwell could give it a go.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Does anybody know where...

    by Mr Soze

    I can get puma slippers, I prefer using my paypal and having them shipped for free. Anyone? Anyone? (Sigh...)

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    If only there was...

    by Mr Soze

    some sort of online intra-web store that could sell me Puma slippers for a competitive price :(

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I hear you Soze, I'm looking for Christian Louboutin shades

    by CountryBoy

    BTW, who "blocked" THE MASTER? That just sounds ominous and creepy.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Rockwell would be perfect for Slothrop.


    Ewan MacGregor as Roger Mexico, Geoffrey Rush as Blicero, Ray Winstone as Pirate Prentice and introducing Devin Faraci as Pig Bodine.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Emily Blunt as Jessica Swanlake, of course.


    And Harry Knowles as Grigori the Octopus.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Pig Bodine

    by j_difool

    hahaha. I hear your comedy with the Devin Faraci = Pig Bodine, but remember... Pig was full of life and chaos. full of living. he was in the navy for chrissakes. Not some fat nameless shitard who writes about movies in his shitty los feliz apartment. it would have to be someone like belushi for Pig, honestly. also, this whole thing of PTA doing pynchon is retarded. PTA should focus on doing an original script. Boogie Nights was great. I haven't liked anything else he's done as much. And from all I hear, this is the worst Pynchon novel ever - and a blatant grab for attention on Pynchon's part to try and get a Hollywood adaptation done before he kicks the bucket.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 8:02 p.m. CST

    there's something rather insipid about book trailers

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    Everything feels so contrived. As if there is an ad man with a gun to Pynchon's head telling him to "Sound more like Tommy Chong, dammit!" Or to "add a stoner joke in at the end, fuck yeah! That'll push some paper." And if, by chance, this was written and directed by Pynchon himself at the behest of Penguin, it still comes off as massively lame. Oh well, book trailers count for a negligible amount of book sales, I'm sure, and are easily enough ignored.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 8:12 p.m. CST

    id love to see that...PTA and ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    Come on...PTA is one of our greatest...bankroll ANYTHING he wants!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Everytime I see PTA...

    by DrGoodspeed

    I get scared for a half a second and have to reread it to make sure it's not W.S. Anderson. Fuck that guy in the mouth.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    We must all be thankful for PTA

    by HansBubi

    Not just as a film lover, but also as a fan of any art, it is so nice to have an artist whose creativity and ambitious consistently produce excellent works.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    correction: ambition

    by HansBubi

    Yes, the man has it.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 9:34 p.m. CST

    PTA: LOUSY screenwriter.

    by Nosferatu Jones

    Amazing filmmaker, but he definitely needs to hand the screenwriting chores over to someone else. Not nearly as good as he thinks he is.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 9:48 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    Really? 'Cause I'd love to see him actually ADAPT the novel "Oil" by Upton Sinclair, instead of just doing a halfass retread of CITIZEN KANE and slapping Sinclair's name on it to give it some credibility...

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 10:15 p.m. CST


    by HansBubi

    I'm actually curious about this - did he actually "slap" Upton Sinclair's name on the movie? I realize he was at best "inspired" by the novel, but the movie wasn't give the title Oil!. It also wasn't heavily marketed/promoted as an adaptation of Sinclair's novel, though I once again realize from the beginning of the movie's production Oil! was stated as its inspiration. I see the point you were trying to make, but your point sinks or swims based on the effectiveness of "slapping Sinclair's name on it." I also don't think PTA is desperately worried about giving any of his projects "some credibility." Eh, maybe I simply thought too much about your phrasing.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Time for some PTA movie again!

    by moviemaniac-7

    Really sucks The Master is shelved, since it would right be in his alley. But a period piece set in the summer of love... With Downey? Fried gold!

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Oh, God.

    by CatVutt

    Terrible novel. Just fucking awful. I like a lot of Pynchon, that thing fucking sucked.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Maybe I misread the book but...

    by TheVagazzler

    ... isn't RD jr. 25 years too old for the main part? Maybe he'd be good as the uptight detective but... I kept fantasizing that the Coen brothers would turn Inherent Vice into a Big Lebowski prequel and turn Doc (who's a pretty bland character btw) into young Dude. Maybe bring in the patented Tron Jeff Bridges Deagifying technology.

  • Dec. 3, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Burn Hollywood

    by SuperSaiyan2112

    U mad??

  • Dec. 3, 2010, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Since when did he slap Sinclair's name on it

    by Lovecraftfan

    It was clearly marketed from the beggining as a heavy departure from the book.

  • Dec. 3, 2010, 2:46 a.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    The novel is mentioned in the credits and the trailer as "based on" (not "inspired by"), and the movie was nominated for "Best Adapted Screenplay" at the Oscars. In the movie poster, it's described as "Adapted for the screen" by PTA. Almost every review mentions the novel, which indicates that it was part of the promotional materials sent to critics.<p> Except for the relationship between a father and his son centered on the oil industry, and Plainview's speech to the landowners near the beginning, next to nothing from the novel was included in the movie, including character names.<p> Whatever the movie is (a CITIZEN KANE rehash, IMHO) it's not an adaptation, so I think I've adequately rebutted Darth Busey's original assertion.

  • Dec. 3, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Will Milla be in it?

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    Oops! I'm easily confused...<p>MMMMM...Milla...

  • Dec. 3, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Yes, Belushi WAS Pig Bodine.


    Bodine and Belushi are two of CHOPPAH's heroes, by the way. <p>There will never be another John Belushi. Never.