In adaptation news I really thought we’d covered already, Paul Thomas Anderson – writer/director of The Master, There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights and, to this writer at least, the best American filmmaker of his generation – is currently at work on a big-screen version of Thomas Pynchon’s most recent novel, 2009’s Inherent Vice. (Strictly speaking, it’s Anderson’s second time adapting someone else’s work, although he kept so little of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! for There Will Be Blood that it almost seems misleading to call that film an adaptation.)
As if the prospect of Anderson adapting Pynchon weren’t exciting enough – the first time any work of Pynchon’s has been adapted for the cinema, incidentally – the director has been assembling a fairly jaw-dropping cast for the project: Joining Anderson’s Master lead Joaquin Phoenix as Pynchon’s protagonist, stoner detective Larry “Doc” Sportello, are Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Jeannie Berlin, fellow Anderson regular Kevin J. O’Connor and, if persistent rumours are to be believed, Sean Penn. Now that cast has had another intriguing addition revealed: Widely adored singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom, making her own cinematic debut following cameo appearances in TV sketch show Portlandia and the video for MGMT’s “Kids”.