Paul Thomas Anderson could direct Inherent Vice next

And Robert Downey Jr could star

Since The Master fell into permanent limbo earlier this year, we've been wondering what Total Film favourite Paul Thomas Anderson would do next.

Well, according to Vulture, Anderson is eyeing Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel Inherent Vice as his next feature. The novel follows Larry 'Doc' Sportello, private eye and pothead, from winter 1969 to summer 1970.

It sounds like it could be an intriguing twist on the film noir, with the setting giving a fresh perspective on well-worn genre staples.

Apparently Anderson's agency are keen to get Robert Downey Jr on board, and he seems like he'd be a perfect fit for the material. The last time he dabbled in noir was for Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and that was great fun.

He's also one of the few actors working today who could make a stoned, troubled 'tec extremely likeable.

Downey Jr obviously has a jam-packed schedule right now, but the Vulture report states that he might be free by the time Anderson is ready to shoot, as the script is currently in the early stages.

Source: Vulture

Like the sound of Inherent Vice? Would you rather Anderson cast someone else in the lead? Talk it out below...