Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has been keeping fairly quiet since the release of his 2017 film Phantom Thread, but now it looks like he’s gearing up for his next project. THR reports that the Boogie Nights helmer will return to the 1970s for his untitled feature, which “will be centered on a high school student who is also a successful child actor.” THR adds that “the project features a multitude of roles and could be ensemble in nature or have intersecting storylines.”
What’s interesting here is that it sounds reminiscent of previous Anderson movies unlike Inherent Vice and Phantom Thread, which went in unexpected directions for the director. Obviously, Anderson isn’t really a director who repeats himself even though there can be tonal similarities in his movies. But it’s interesting to see him return to the 1970s setting plus go back to an ensemble of intersecting storylines like Magnolia. Magnolia also has a child “star” of sorts both the child prodigy playing What Do Kids Know? as well as Donnie Smith, the former What Do Kids Know? champion. Also, as THR points out, this new movie will be set in the San Fernando Valley just like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Punch Drunk Love, which is where Anderson grew up.
I’m very curious to see what Anderson does here as he always know how to surprise even if the individual movies may not connect with me personally (I adore There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread, but didn’t care much for Inherent Vice). No word yet on who will play the child actor/high-school student, but it will be cool to see a young actor at the center of an Anderson movie. Or maybe he’ll just get Daniel Day-Lewis to play the role.
Filming on the untitled feature is expected to begin in February 2020.