Paul Thomas Anderson Directing Robert Downey Jr. in a Pynchon Adaptation? Bring It

For those of you still mourning Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology film, there may yet be a pretty sweet consolation prize.

Anderson is said to be working on a treatment for an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice," reported Vulture. And word has it that Robert Downey Jr. is being wooed to take the lead role of Doc Sportello, a pot-smoking private eye with an abiding love of rock n roll and southern California.

Here's the Penguin Press synopsis:

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.

We were all kinds of excited for "The Master," Anderson's fictional accounting of a Scientology-like faith, that was to star Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jeremy Renner. But when our corporate cousins at Universal balked at PTA's $35 million budget, what choice did the man have but to go find another project.

While we haven't read "Vice," just the idea of RDJ playing a stoned PI cruising 1960s LA is enough to get our attention.

And if we haven't given you enough "Inherent Vice," here's the trailer for the book, with Pynchon himself serving as narrator.

This is all wildly premature, but it's fun to think about, no?

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