Thursday, May 23, 2024

Confirmed: Paul Thomas Anderson Making Thomas Pynchon Novel into a Film–with Robert Downey Jr.


There were a lot of internet rumors and some clues over the last week. Now I can confirm that Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film will be an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel “Inherent Vice.” And also, it does like Robert Downey, Jr. and perhaps Charlize Theron will be the stars, with more names coming. After disappointing box office on “The Master,” PTA is said to be interested in having a moneymaker.

I can tell you that the brilliant and relatively young Megan Ellison is going to produce via her Annapurna Productions. Ellison is also busy prepping David O. Russell’s next one, “American Bullshit,” with Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale and, obviously, a new title.

Pynchon is notoriously reclusive. The legendary author of “Gravity’s Rainbow” and “V” has lived for years right here in New York, married to literary agent Melanie Jackson. He’s our J.D. Salinger, meaning no one ever sees him. (Other writers like this include Thomas Harris, the creator of Hannibal Lecter, who lives in Sag Harbor, and Harper Lee, who used to be in New York and is now down south in what I’m told may be assisted living.)

Pynchon did narrate a video for “Inherent Vice” which can be –and has been–found on You Tube at!. I’m told he thinks very highly of Anderson, who’s met with him a lot. “Pynchon only wants Paul to make this movie,” says a source. And we do too. More: “It’s closer to Boogie Nights than any of his other films.”

PS The original rumor of a PTA-Pynchon collaboration can be credited to Vulture, Collider, CinemaBlend, the New York Daily News, and the New York Times.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News