Few filmmakers can elicit a reaction among cinephiles like Paul Thomas Anderson. After establishing himself as one of the most ambitious rising filmmakers in the late ’90s with films like Boogie Nights and Magnolia, each of his following projects has, to some degree, felt like major events within the film community, despite the relative lack of mainstream success his films have achieved. Thus, it comes with a shriek and a squeal that Anderson’s seventh feature film Inherent Vice has been tapped for a December 12th release date, according to a statement by distributor Warner Bros.
The crime drama, which Anderson adapted from the novel by Thomas Pynchon (the very first screen adaptation of one his works), stars Joaquin Phoenix as a drug-addled detective in the 1970s investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend. Phoenix, currently in theaters in the Oscar-nominated Spike Jonze romance Her, is reuniting with Anderson for second time after prior success with The Master, a film which earned the actor an Academy Award nomination. The eclectic and all-star ensemble cast is rounded out by Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jena Malone, Martin Short, Reese Witherspoon, and Anderson’s longtime partner Maya Rudolph.
The awards-friendly release date tentatively pits the Anderson crime drama opening against Ridley Scott’s epic Exodus, featuring Christian Bale and Aaron Paul, and the family film Paddington, featuring the voice of Colin Firth.