Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice was originally supposed to star Robert Downey Jr. as drug addled private eye Doc Sportello. That sounded just about perfect since even when playing genius billionaire playboy philanthropists, Robert Downey Jr. always hovers around that kind of fictional persona.
But not anymore! Now Doc Sportello will be played by none other than Joaquin Phoenix, an actor I'm still nowhere near comprehending. I'm assuming the role will call for comedy, but while comedy and Robert Downey Jr. go hand in hand, I imagine Joaquin Phoenix's take on how to make people laugh likely resembling the more nightmarish aspects of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Or perhaps Bumfights.
Then again, he is the comeback kid. After I'm Still Here, everyone seemed mildly irritated by Phoenix, and yet he gave one of this year's best performances in The Master. Somehow, all he did was bend over and talk out of the side of his mouth, and he seemed like an entirely different human being. Maybe he can do it again, only this time as a smartass. It's hard to believe Paul Thomas Anderson would cast him if he didn't know what he was doing.
So really, this just offers a whole new dimension to our anticipation for Inherent Vice. I want to see the movie, but now I'm simultaneously intrigued by questions of what kind of a drug addled private eye smartass Joaquin Phoenix will make when the film finally comes out. We'll just have to wait and see.