Charlize-TheronPaul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Inherent Vice is by far my most anticipated adaptation currently being developed. I have nothing but love for Thomas Pynchon’s original novel, and have been looking forward to seeing Anderson’s take on the material ever since the project was first announced.

Even more so given that Robert Downey, Jr. has been circling the lead for almost two years now, and that Megan Ellison will be producing.

In an interview with Collider just before Christmas, the writer-director said that he hopes to shoot the film this year, which is awesome news. And now Showbiz 411 are reporting that Charlize Theron is thought to be a possibility to star opposite Downey, Jr.

Though no character name is mentioned, we can perhaps safely presume that she’d be taking on the female lead of Shasta Fay Hepworth. Although she doesn’t appear in the novel much, she is the one who sets the events in motion, and I’d love to see Theron take on the role.

Collider’s interview with Anderson also strongly suggested that he’s been working with Pynchon on the script itself, which would be absolutely amazing. The author is well-known for being reclusive, and has avoided meeting any journalists for more than four decades. So to think that he could have a hand in penning the script with Anderson is somewhat incredible.

The official plot synopsis for the adaptation hasn’t, of course, been released, so here’s the synopsis for the original novel, courtesy of Waterstones:

“Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon – private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog. It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that ‘love’ is another of those words going around at the moment, like ‘trip’ or ‘groovy’, except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists. In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there…or…if you were there, then you…or, wait, is it…”

For the moment, pretty much everything we know about Inherent Vice is yet to be confirmed, but we love the possibility of Robert Downey, Jr. playing the lead, and hope that he’ll be able to fit it into his schedule this year, and the same goes for Charlize Theron.

If Anderson is looking to shoot the film this year, we’ll hopefully have some concrete casting news for you very soon. And with any luck, we’ll have Inherent Vice on the big screen before the end of 2014. More as we get it.