Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice has landed its second shaggy, mumbling star to go with its shaggy, mumbling detective story, reportedly adding Benicio Del Toro alongside the already-cast Joaquin Phoenix. Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel calls for someone to play the small yet scene-stealing role of Sauncho Smilax, “an attorney who's always trying to help the protagonist out of trouble, though he's not an actual criminal lawyer”—and with Del Toro having previous experience providing drug-addled legal advice in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, there was really only one man for the job now that Raymond Burr is dead.
Del Toro’s casting comes on the heels of a lot of Inherent Vice movement, including the confirmed return of Anderson’s regular cinematographer Robert Elswit, the addition of Anderson ensemble veteran Kevin J. O’Connor to very possibly once again have the shit beaten out of him, and the news that filming is due to begin later this month with financing from Warner Bros., making for the director’s first major studio release since Punch-Drunk Love. Warner Bros. is presumably aware that Adam Sandler isn’t also in this one and is still fine with it.
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