Four years after the release of widely acclaimed romantic drama Phantom Thread, in what would be legendary actor Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film (for now), Paul Thomas Anderson is back with a long anticipated trailer for his new film Licorice Pizza. Previously titled Soggy Bottom, and almost starring Leonardo DiCaprio before he turned it down due to scheduling conflicts, the film has been kept under wraps for over a year, and first glimpses of the trailer were seen by those attending throwback theaters across Southern California. Today, the trailer has been released.
The film centers around Gary Valentine, a high school student becoming an actor in the 1970s, played by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a longtime PTA collaborator, along with his older crush Alana Kane, played by Alana Haim, known for being a member of the pop rock band Haim. Bradley Cooper accepted the DiCaprio role as film producer Jon Peters.
They’re joined by PTA’s real life partner Maya Rudolph, Benny Safdie as Joel Wachs, a politician running for office, Tom Waits as a film director, Sean Penn in a yet to be announced role, and apparently Ben Stiller, who is listed on the IMDb cast list for the film but isn’t seen in the trailer.
“I met the girl imma marry one day…” Gary says while referring to Alana, as the trailer instantly opens with David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?,” featuring nostalgia inducing shots of the 1970’s San Fernando Valley. The dreamlike feel of the wide eyed, up and coming actor finding the girl of his dreams comes to a sudden halt as Jon Peters tries to correct young Valentine of the pronunciation of his girlfriend Barbra Streisand’s name.
Plenty of fun, wild teenage scenes are briefly shown, capturing the coming of age aspect of the film, as well as the young romance and view into the life of a 70s child actor. “I think it’s weird that I hang out with Gary and his 15-year-old friends all the time,” Alana says as we cut to shots of the crew’s shenanigans. A police presence is felt, as she says bye to Gary after he gets arrested, as well as politics, with a brief shot of Safdie in full Ides of March attire (if that film were made in the 70s, of course).
The comedy evokes the youthful awkwardness of Boogie Nights and the purely relatable romance of Punch-Drunk Love. It’s certainly a break from his PTA’s last three epics (excluding his Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice, whose roots are closer to this film without the warmth of his earlier films) in there own way, as you wouldn’t think this and There Will Be Blood came from the same guy.
Distributors of the picture are United Artists, and Universal, and production companies include Focus Features, Bron Creative, MGM, and Ghoulardi Film Company. Its estimated budget was $40 million. Licorice Pizza is expected to begin its rollout with a November 26th limited release and a Christmas Day nationwide release.
Stay tuned for more details.