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Warner Bros. to Distribute Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

Joaquin Phoenix set to star in Thomas Pynchon detective story

Coming off its flood of “Argo” awards, Warner Bros. is boarding another pic with prestige elements, coming on to distribute and finance Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”

Joaquin Phoenix is  set to star with Anderson writing and directing.

Based on the 2009 Thomas Pynchon detective tome, the story is set in 1960s Los Angeles and follows the drug-fueled detective Larry “Doc” Sportello as he investigates the case of a kidnapped girl. The plot is less convoluted than many of Pynchon’s labyrinthine novels, with the New York Times calling it “a simple shaggy dog detective story.”

Anderson has not a major studio release since 2002’s Sony-distributed “Punch-Drunk Love.”

Cigarettes & Red Vines broke the news.

While WB has never released an Anderson film before, New Line distributed and financed “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” which brought his name into the limelight (technically, “Hard Eight” was his first film).

It’s unknown if New Line will have a part in the production.

Insiders also add that Annapurna Pictures, which financed and produced Anderson’s last pic “The Master,” will not be involved in the project.

Annapurna had been linked to the project for some time,  but bowed out after “The Master” delivered an underwhelming perf at the box office that didn’t cover the $30 million budget.

Production is set to start sometime this spring.

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