When Robert Downey Jr. decided to drop out of 'Oz, the Great and Powerful' last month, the popular actor found himself with an opening in his normally jam-packed schedule. According to THR, he's planning to fill that void by possibly starring in P.T. Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel 'Inherent Vice.'

Anderson has been hard at work adapting the novel while he continues to attempt to get his religious-themed 'The Master' off the ground. Philp Seymour Hoffman is tied to that film, which is still looking for funding.

Should Downey Jr. take the role, he'll play a stoner detective (kinda like Sherlock Holmes!) who gets embroiled in a series of mysteries in Los Angeles. The novel takes place during 1969 and the Manson trial serves as part of the story's backdrop. Sources say the novel is more accessible than the standard Pynchon tale, which will hopefully make its transition to the screen a smooth one.

Hit the jump for more details.

Downey's schedule will once again be full if he eventually signs on for the part. The actor has recently finished 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' and will begin shooting 'The Avengers' later this year. He also has 'Iron Man 3' on his docket and several other projects in development. 'Inherent Vice' could be the last piece of the scheduling puzzle that ensures the actor works continuously until sometime near 2013.

Anderson, meanwhile, hasn't directed since 2007's critical darling 'There Will Be Blood.' If he can secure financing for both 'Inherent Vice' and 'The Master,' it seems likely that he'd make both films in short order. No word on which would get priority if that were to happen, though.

It's either incredibly ironic or perfect casting to place Robert Downey Jr. in a film called 'Inherent Vice' given the talented actor's well-publicized struggles with addiction – and only time will tell which turns out to be the case if he takes the part. We like the idea of the affable actor playing a stoner detective, so we're hoping this news pans out. What do you guys think?