From the moment that director Paul Thomas Anderson first burst onto the scene in 1996 with Hard Eight (a.k.a. Sydney), audiences began to take notice. Every frame of the dark, gambling tale of lost fortunes and misplaced passions teemed with an intensity rarely seen from a first-time director. While Hard Eight was no box office smash and its release remained very low-key, both critics and cinephiles were smitten with the potential the young director had displayed.
It wasn’t until Anderson followed Hard Eight up with 1997’s Boogie Nights that he truly became a household name. Casting a young Mark Wahlberg who was then just beginning to make the transfer from hip-hop star alter-ego Marky Mark to an acting career, the film’s exploration of Southern California’s adult entertainment industry in the late 1970s and early ’80s was a bona fide hit that sealed Wahlberg’s fate as a legitimate actor and reeled in three Oscars.
Since that time, the writer/director has worked with a score of tremendously talented actors and created arguably some of the most memorable characters in cinematic history. One such character was Daniel Plainview – the remorseless, money-hungry oilman portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis in Anderson’s 2007 hit There Will Be Blood. That film landed two Oscars – including best actor for Day-Lewis. It’s been almost a decade since the two have worked together, but now Variety is reporting that the duo could be reuniting once more for Anderson’s next film, set in the 1950’s New York world of fashion.
At present, the film has no working title and the plot has yet to be divulged. Anderson is reported to still be at work on the script, but he has apparently been meeting with young actresses of Eastern European descent in a bid to cast supporting roles. Daniel Day-Lewis – who hasn’t been in a film since nabbing his third best actor Oscar win for 2012’s Lincoln – has been attached to the project for some time now, though as of this writing has not been confirmed to star. The currently untitled effort will mark Anderson’s eighth feature film, though he has been keeping busy as of late directing the documentary Junun as well as new music videos for Radiohead and for indie darling harpist – and spouse of Andy Samberg – Joanna Newsom.
For all Anderson’s acclaim and talent however, some could argue that he’s been in something of a slump as of late. Though his last two films – 2014’s Inherent Vice and 2012’s The Master – received a certain degree of love from critics, the general opinion amongst audiences was divided, to say the least. Inherent Vice in particular was an especially dense and slow-moving tale that seemed to lack much of what made Anderson’s earlier works so eminently watchable.
Nonetheless, Anderson’s career choices have always held a certain degree of divisiveness to them, which might just be one of the key ingredients to his success. Should he team up with Day-Lewis once more, the stars very well could align for the pair a second time, meaning that general audiences and hard-core Anderson fans alike might have something to truly look forward to.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information on the PT Anderson project as it becomes available.