Anderson has been developing the project for a while now, with Robert Downey, Jr. originally set for the lead of Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello. And whilst Downey, Jr. ultimately moved on from the project, with Joaquin Phoenix now set to take the lead, the anticipation surrounding it hasn’t dimmed in the slightest.
Casting has been coming along nicely recently, with Owen Wilson and Benicio del Toro coming on board the project.
And now we have a few more names to add to the list, with Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, and Martin Short all joining alongside Phoenix, Wilson, and del Toro.
Courtesy of Waterstones, here’s the original synopsis for Pynchon’s Inherent Vice:
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.
There’s no official word on who Witherspoon will be playing. But it’s more than likely that she’s taking the female lead as Doc’s ex-girl, Shasta Fay Hepworth, which was a part we had previously heard Charlize Theron might be circling.
Malone is set to take the role of a former drug addict who comes to Doc in need of help, and thus we can assume she’ll be playing the role of Hope Harlingen. (I’m still rather hoping that Owen Wilson will be playing Coy Harlingen, but I have a feeling he might instead be taking the role of Mickey Wolfmann.)
Short’s role is being described as small, and is being kept under wraps for now.
Production on Anderson’s adaptation is expected to begin later this month, and I really cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. With any luck, we’ll have a few more pieces of casting news from the project soon.