Joaquin Phoenix Replaces Robert Downey Jr. in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

This noir tale, set in 1969 Los Angeles, is an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, which centers on a pot-smoking detective.

Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star in Inherent Vice
Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star in Inherent Vice
Fresh off his Oscar nomination for his performance in The Master, Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to reunite with director Paul Thomas Anderson for Inherent Vice.

The actor replaces Robert Downey Jr., who was circling the project in February 2011, but ultimately dropped out. This noir tale, set in 1969 Los Angeles, is based on Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel about a weed-smoking private detective on a kidnapping case.

Paul Thomas Anderson is directing from his own adapted screenplay, with Megan Ellison producing and financing through her Annapurna Pictures company. John Lesher and JoAnne Sellar are also attached to producer.

It isn't known when production may begin.

Inherent Vice was released December 12th, 2014 and stars Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Joaquin Phoenix, Benicio Del Toro, Sasha Pieterse, Owen Wilson, Jillian Bell. The film is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

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Comments (12)

  1. WongFu

    @narrator I guess you could say not my cup of tea.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  2. WongFu

    @narrator it's a terrible film, lack of directing, lack of a story and even the actors were terrible - might had to do with the script.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  3. thedude-abides

    @narrator Haha. Definitely. And I agree about Phoenix. Like @bawnian-dexeus said, and what I didn't say in my post, if I had to choose one actor to replace RDJ in this role, it would've been Phoenix.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  4. the Narrator

    Ahh, so that was the one, @thedude-abides. It rings a bell now. Nonetheless, fantastic post (it certainly got me more pumped for the project) and I agree with you. RDJ would have been perfect for a role like this, and even better since you've read the source material. Still, Phoenix has got talent. Regardless, definitely on my must watch top-three of 2014 now. Here's hoping I don't forget again. :P

    Seriously, @instead8909? They suck? Any reason why?

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  5. thedude-abides

    @bawnian-dexeus I completely agree with you there. Here are a few links that I could find. One of them is to my 2014 movie guide preview list, which I've had up for the past year-and-a-half (although I renamed the list, so it won't show it's been up for as long as it has been). There are numerous other articles where I've talked this one up as well, I just can't remember where.




    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  6. WongFu

    I seen two of his films and they suck. Whoever says this Anderson is good is way off. Boogie Nights was really awful

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  7. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @thedude-abides I don't doubt RDJ could have done wonders with this movie, given some of his past roles and personal experiences. Still, after watching Phoenix monkey around in Master, he's a best second

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  8. thedude-abides

    @bawnian-dexeus Indeed I have, my friend. I'll find you some links, lol

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  9. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @thedude-abides You have? Hmm, must have missed the updates

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  10. thedude-abides

    @narrator How it also escaped you when I've been promoting it on this site since 2010 is also bothersome to me and my sensibilities, lol.

    This has been my most anticipated film for over two years for two reasons: First, because it's P.T. Anderson. The guy, like Ben Affleck put it at the Globes, is Orson Welles. He's simply the best director working today, and it's disgusting to me that people can't seem to wrap their heads around him or his films, because their awe-inspiring, and even that superlative doesn't do Anderson or his work justice. Period.

    Number two, and just as important to Anderson's involvement, was Robert Downey Jr.'s involvement. Let me just say that I've read Inherent Vice, and picturing Downey Jr. as Larry "Doc" Sportello -- a weed-smoking private dick in 1969 L.A. -- was, to put it eloquently, f*cking awesome. Definite shades of The Dude Lebowski came to mind picturing RDJ in the role.

    The fact that Downey Jr. is being replaced by Phoenix, while it may not appear as a huge blow to some, is a significant blow, nonetheless, and here's why: To put it simply, RDJ was born for this role. Joaquin Phoenix, although a top-10 actor in the world by most standards, and in my opinion, a better overall actor than Downey Jr., is still stepping into a role that someone else was born to play. It's just that simple. I am, as everyone else should be, devastated I'll never get to bear witness to what undeniably would have been an all-time classic performance by Robert Downey Jr. as Larry "Doc" Sportello.

    As it is, Joaquin Phoenix is the man, and if The Master were any indication of this guy's potential as an actor, than we're in store for something special. Far and away, this is still my most anticipated film of 2014, Noah included.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  11. the Narrator

    After seeing Zodiac, I had always wanted to see RDJ in another crime thriller of sorts, so the fact that this project went over my head when he was possibly attached is bothersome. That being said, Phoenix looks like he could play the part, but I'm just not a huge fan of the guy, acting abilities aside. I feel like RDJ would have been an unforeseen choice in a lot of peoples eyes and would have gotten the guy a memorable role outside of Iron Man. Still, I'm looking forward to this one.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  12. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Sounds like a role he'd be perfect for. Wonder if this one will be Panavision

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

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