Robert Downey Jr. may be the busiest actor on the planet right now, what with him currently finishing up Sherlock Holmes 2 before starting production on Marvel’s The Avengers in just a few month’s time and Iron Man 3 slated to shoot sometime next year.
However, even with all those high-profile projects in the works, Downey still has some room in his schedule this fall, and word is he’s going to be filling it with Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of elusive author Thomas Pynchon’s novel Inherent Vice, which may have recently obtained the necessary funding to go into production.
Known for his sprawling and epic yarns about life and society, Pynchon’s Inherent Vice has a somewhat simple premise:
Our burnout hero, private dick Doc Sportello, agrees to find the new lover of his ex-girlfriend Shasta and soon gets mixed up in a case more convoluted than he could’ve imagined, including Thai hookers, a motorcycle gang, a surf-rock saxophonist, and a narcotics dealer named El Drano.
The novel explores the culture of 1960s America – an era in which many people fed up with the button-down attitudes of the ’50s “rebelled” by simply doing nothing (except lots of drugs) and somehow managed to at once be burnouts, deadbeats and great achievers of creativity, spirit and social change.
I would imagine that for Downey’s role we’ll be getting a cross between Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Big Lebowski, while Anderson is sure to be a fitting match for Pynchon’s…er, penchant for deep social x-ray and satire. Anderson is also great at picking tales that serve as strong metaphors for aspects of the Americana experience, so I’m sure he’ll do well conveying subplots from Inherent Vice (such as the Charles Manson trials) that examine how America’s collective mindstate was changing and or being “altered” during that time.
Needless to say: I’m excited to hear that Anderson is tackling this project, and RDJ is of course a great leading man for this film – he’ll make it fun to watch a film that has a layered and humorous story to tell.
We’ll keep you updated on Inherent Vice‘s production schedule, as well as P.T. Anderson’s other new project, The Master.