Plot Details of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Next Film, Revealed

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film will reportedly be an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 1990 novel ‘Vineland.’ Set in 1984 California, the film revolves around an ex-hippie named Zoyd Wheeler, who performs a bizarre annual ritual to secure mental disability checks. Zoyd and his daughter Prairie are forced to leave their home by a federal agent named Brock Vond. The father and daughter then seek refuge with old friends who reveal a tumultuous tale about Frenesi Gates, Prairie’s estranged mother.

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The plot further delves into Brock’s efforts to dismantle the People’s Republic of Rock and Roll, from which the College of the Surf seceded during the hippie era of the 1960s. He tries to recruit Franesi as a double agent to fulfill his mission but the latter’s betrayal leads to her disappearance, initiating a search by various parties. Prairie finally meets her mother at a family reunion, while Brock’s pursuit ends tragically as the era of anti-drug efforts wanes. The girl then looks forward to a future free from the shadows of the past.

Anderson is an ardent admirer of Pynchon’s novel. The filmmaker wanted to adapt the work almost a decade ago but he ended up choosing the author’s ‘Inherent Vice’ to bring to the screen. “I’d wanted to adapt ‘Vineland,’ but I never had the courage. Then this book [‘Inherent Vice’] presented itself and it seemed to encapsulate a lot of his work. It seemed to be a great way to translate him into a movie,” Anderson told Time Out in 2014. “I read Vineland a couple of months ago, and there were sections where I felt like I was just floating. I got a high out of it. […] It’s just too intimidating. My brain’s not big enough,” the filmmaker told Rolling Stone in 2015.

‘Vineland’ has been a book Anderson used to return to a lot. “There’s a stack of books I haven’t read yet, and yet I find myself constantly re-reading ‘Vineland.’ It’s borderline pathological. But I think that I had a kind of possessive feeling that if anybody was going to do this — if anyone was going to fuck it up, I would prefer that I would be the one to fuck it up,” he previously told IndieWire.

The shooting of the historical movie is set to begin early next year. California, Texas, and Mexico are the chosen filming locations. Anderson’s previous film ‘Licorice Pizza’ is also a period drama. The project is being developed at Warner Bros. Pictures. Leonardo DiCaprio and Regina Hall are rumored to have joined the film but the cast hasn’t been confirmed yet. DiCaprio was last seen in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ as Ernest Burkhart. Hall, on the other hand, plays Candace Murchison in ‘The Best Man: The Final Chapters’ and Maya Fisher in ‘Me Time.’

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