Paul Thomas Anderson's next film is going to be Inherent Vice, an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel. That's a pretty good match, if you ask me. But what comes after that? Hopefully we still have decades worth of amazing movies from this genius (who has been knighted by Ben Affleck as the new Orson Welles). PTA himself let slip one idea he's kicked around:
"From time to time I've thought about making a film about that era of local TV and the kind of Wild West lawlessness and the things that could happen. When my dad was doing it, it wasn't national, it was local. And it felt like lunch time was drinking time and you could come back to work totally hammered."
Paul's dad, of course, was the famous horror host Ghoulardi, whose show was so popular in the local Cleveland market that car theft dropped whenever it aired.
I almost imagine this as a more serious take on Anchorman, which makes my toes get all tingly. There's so much to say in a movie like this, so much that is specifically American (PTA's specialty) to plumb. And it's not a subject that's been done very often. There's drama and comedy and pathos and profundity and stupidity, all for the taking. Hell, do it as a stealth prequel to Magnolia, with an appearance by Jimmy Gator and a young Donny 'Quiz Kid' Smith. Begin building the PTAndersonverse!