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While Paul Thomas Anderson started his career making films at a rapid pace - releasing Hard Eight, Boogie Nights and Magnolia in the span of three years, the last decade has seen his speed slow considerably. After releasing Punch-Drunk Love in 2002 there was a five year gap before he came out with There Will Be Blood in 2007, and there was another five years between that film and The Master, which came out this fall. But the Oscar-nominated filmmaker is waiting around to get started on his next project. He knows exactly what he's making and he's trying to bring it to us as fast as he can.
With The Master still very much in Award season discussions - with stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams all up for Golden Globes - The New York Times recently sat down with Anderson and during their long career-spanning conversation the subject of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice came up. Back in December of 2010 it was revealed that the director was interested in adapting the novel for the big screen, possibly with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead as pothead private eye Larry "Doc" Sportello, and it looks as though that project could get going as early as 2013.
While the director wouldn't open up too much about the project or working with the famously reclusive author, he said that his plan is to shoot a faithful adaptation of the book sometime next year and that he's found strange inspiration in an underground comic strip called the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, which debuted in the late 1960s. Anderson described that he has "a large stack of pages" for the script ready and that his adaptation is so close to the source material that his screenwriter credit should be something more like "‘secretary to the author."
The article doesn't make any mention of Downey Jr.'s involvement, though the star confirmed interest in the project in early 2011.