In what would the first English-language adaptation of Pynchon's work ('Gravity's Rainbow' was turned into the German film 'Prüfstand VII'), new reports claim that Anderson wants to adapt the novelist's most recent tome, the 2009 novel 'Inherent Vice.'
Vulture reports that Anderson wants to adapt the novel, and "several well-placed insiders say they've heard he's writing a treatment and may have already started on a script." Another source says that they even want Robert Downey Jr. to star as Doc Sportello, though there's no official involvement or decision if the film can fit into his already overflowing schedule.
'Inherent Vice' focuses on Sportello, "a pothead private eye wandering through the Summer (and Winter) of Love in 1969 Los Angeles." He tries to solve a strange case whilst surrounded by the soundtrack of the '60s. (Pynchon even offered up a song list for readers, over at Amazon.) The title comes from a legal term used to describe hidden defects in good properties that cause deterioration and damage.
The above clip is narrated by Pynchon himself, though you won't see any glimpse of him, as he's lived out his fame out of the spotlight and public eye for years now.
Downey Jr. might be the obvious choice, but only because his work makes him the perfect choice. He's got a past full of performances as strange men, singing detectives and drug addicts, and now he's got the seemingly unstoppable star power to bring some mainstream interest to the piece. It would be an ideal placement that links to the more off-the-dial performances of the past whilst making use of his current fame. Then again, it's not hard to imagine Hoffman in the role, or some of Anderson's other leads over the years.
Let's just hope this one gets made.