Filming set to get underway on "Inherent Vice" in just under 2 weeks but despite a huge ensemble of around 25 players, we've only gotten word of a handful of actors attached so far: Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro and Kevin J. O'Connor. Rumors have swirled in the last few weeks as to who would take the female lead. Charlize Theron had supposedly been interested in the part (and PTA likewise interested to work with her) but we posited back in February that would be out of the running due to her commitments to Seth MacFarlane's western and the highly anticipated adaptation of "Dark Places." It was also rumored that Kirsten Dunst (who PTA had recommended to Lars Von Trier for the part in "Melancholia") might be circling the role since she too had expressed an interest in working with PTA.
It would appear that both of those actresses are now out of the running as Deadline reports that Reese Witherspoon -- who's been picking up projects left and right these past few weeks -- has signed on. Though her role isn't specified, we're gonna take a leap here and say that she's probably going to be playing Shasta Fay Hepworth, Doc's (Phoenix) ex-girlfriend who sets the story in motion by asking for Doc’s help in investigating a plot and ends up going missing soon after. C&RV readers will recall that Witherspoon had previously been attached back in 2010 to the role of Peggy Dodd (back when the character's name was Mary Sue) in an earlier incarnation of "The Master" that never came to be. But it looks like PTA and Witherspoon will finally get to work together and also allow her to re-unite with her "Walk The Line" co-star Phoenix.
Update 9:55pm: In addition to Witherspoon, Jeff Sneider at The Wrap (who it should be noted has broken about 90% of the casting on this movie), reports that Martin Short and Jena Malone have also joined the film in supporting roles. Malone will play the part of Japonica Fenway, a free-spirited hippie chick who was the subject of Doc's first-ever paying case when she ran away from home. Short's role is still unclear but it's possible he could be playing Japonica's father Crocker Fenway, who hires Doc to investigage her disappearance or perhaps another role entirely. For those of you who have read the novel, who do you think Short might be playing? Sound off in the comments below. This is shaping up to be a really interesting cast seeing as only Phoenix and O'Connor have previously worked with PTA before. Filming on 'Vice' is set to get underway in the next few weeks so there should be lots more casting announcements to come. And if you're involved with the production, why don't you drop us a line?
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"The Master" is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.