Paul Thomas Anderson has decided to take a break from directing Haim videos and return to movies. Anderson has his first post-Phantom Thread feature already lined-up: a high school movie set in the 1970s. Anderson will write and direct the movie, which is set to begin production next year. This won’t be any ordinary coming-of-age high school flick, though. Instead, the premise will focus on a teen who is also a famous child actor.
I know everyone is going gaga over Disney+ today, and that’s understandable. But the biggest and best entertainment news today in my humble opinion is this: Paul Thomas Anderson is back, baby. THR says PTA will helm a film set in high school in the 1970s San Fernando Valley. Anderson himself attended high school in the San Fernando Valley close to this time period, so this will no doubt have the filmmaker drawing on his own personal experiences. The still-untitled film is “centered on a high school student who is also a successful child actor.” THR adds that “casting is underway to find the lead and the project features a multitude of roles and could be ensemble in nature or have intersecting storylines.”
Anderson took a brief respite from films set in California with 2017’s wonderful Phantom Thread, but this next project will bring him back to the state of his previous works Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Inherent Vice. Production on the film is slated to begin in February of 2020, which means we probably won’t see this movie until 2021 – unless Anderson is able to wrap it up quickly enough for a Christmas 2020 release.
While there’s still not a whole lot of info about this new movie, this is all very exciting. Anderson is one of the best directors working right now, and it’s always a big deal when he’s about to direct something new. I’m not exactly keen on movies set in high school, but I’m more than willing to see what Anderson does with this sort of material. And I’m mostly just excited he’s making a feature again. The filmmaker hasn’t directed a feature since Phantom Thread, he’s kept busy with music videos for folks like the band Haim and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Over the summer, the Anderson-directed short film/music video for Yorke’s Anima dropped on Netflix.
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