Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" adaptation appears to be gathering steam.

The "Master" auteur is planning to begin production on his previously-reported big-screen version of the Thomas Pynchon novel sometime next year, according to a profile of the director in today's New York Times. Not only that, but the famously freewheeling Anderson claims that unlike his adaptation of Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" - the basis of his 2007 masterwork "There Will Be Blood" - he won't be taking many liberties with the book's story.

“It’s more secretarial,” said Anderson. “The credit should be like ‘secretary to the author.'...But it’s no less fun. In some ways it’s just what the doctor ordered right now for me: being more selfless.”

Interestingly, Anderson also claims to be using cult comic-strip "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" as a sort of "research bible" for the project. Beginning publication in the late 1960s, the strip centers on the misadventures of three pot-smoking deadbeats from San Francisco.

"Inherent Vice" would be the first authorized adaptation of a Pynchon work ever to hit the screen. Published in 2009, the novel follows pothead P.I. Larry "Doc" Sportello as he investigates the disappearance of a real-estate mogul in late-1960s/early-1970s Los Angeles.

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