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Paul Thomas Anderson updates on his adaptation of the "stoner private-eye saga" Inherent Vice

Dec. 27, 2012by: Paul Shirey
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Director Paul Thomas Anderson is a somewhat elusive director when it comes to his source material.  He's been hard to nail down in terms of what he'll do next or where he'll draw the material from, which is probably more his doing than anything else.  His films have multiple meanings and are layered in such a way that it takes multiple viewings to soak it all in, much like his latest work, THE MASTER.  Speaking to the NY Times, Anderson has revealed that his next project will be an adaptation of author Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice, a '60's-set private-eye tale, which he's been tossing around adapting for years, with Robert Downey Jr. eyed for the lead role.

Here's the book synopsis:

It's been a while since Doc Sportello has seen his ex- girlfriend. Suddenly she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble.

Anderson was coy about working closely with the famously reclusive author on the adaptation, saying, "I would get dangerously close to betraying trust."  Like his other films, Anderson is seemingly drawing from other sources to adapt the book, although he states that it will be a faithful adaptation. "It’s more secretarial," he said. "The credit should be like ‘secretary to the author.’ "

In the interview, "he added that he has “a large stack of pages” and hopes to shoot next year. “But it’s no less fun. In some ways it’s just what the doctor ordered right now for me: being more selfless.” Anderson added, without stating his actual involvement with the author, that, “It feels really good to be doing that, being a participant in his mind."

Personally, I don't know that Anderson is able to separate himself from the source enough to make a faithful adaptation and I'm not sure if that's the right direction for him in the first place.  Anderson has a very personal style and I think it suits his work completely. Pynchon's novel isn't exactly a John Grisham thriller, so I think that Anderson will do just fine branching off on his own to adapt the work and make it his own, even if his intent is to be the "secretary." 

Anderson plans to begin shooting INHERENT VICE sometime next year.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think Anderson will actually have a new film out before his usual five-year gap?
Source: NY Times

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5:50PM on 12/27/2012
I can't wait to see Downey Jr. in this!
I can't wait to see Downey Jr. in this!
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2:43PM on 12/27/2012
I began reading this during a summer vacation. Despite not picking it up since, it was very enjoyable and have been meaning to find the time to continue. That said, PTA seems like such a strange choice for this novel. It seems more like a Coen Brothers or a Martin McDonagh type of story.
I began reading this during a summer vacation. Despite not picking it up since, it was very enjoyable and have been meaning to find the time to continue. That said, PTA seems like such a strange choice for this novel. It seems more like a Coen Brothers or a Martin McDonagh type of story.
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