Bradley Cooper in talks to star in new Paul Thomas Anderson film

bradley cooper paul thomas anderson
Bradley Cooper is currently in talks to star in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film, an as-yet untitled project set in the San Fernando Valley during the 1970s.

Details are scarce so far but it has been rumoured to be a coming-of-age story, with Cooper in an unspecified lead role. He remains in contention as there have been no official confirmations yet, but he appears to be the most likely front runner at present. Leonardo DiCaprio was initially rumoured to be closing in on the part early on, but sources have confirmed that ‘PTA’ has now switched his focus to recruiting Cooper.

One of the true modern auteurs of cinematic storytelling, Paul Thomas Anderson also wrote and will produce the feature, with the aim for an Autumn 2020 start to production (obviously depending on the pandemic situation). The highly secretive script reportedly features a high school student from the Valley, Anderson’s own hometown, who is also a child actor. With Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Punch-Drunk Love all being set in the Valley too, and the deliciously noir Inherent Vice depicting the mid-seventies, this is Anderson on home turf in terms of setting and period. Allegedly returning to a structure of multiple storylines, this will be PTA’s ninth feature film, and the successor to 2017’s critically acclaimed Phantom Thread.

We’ll next see Bradley Cooper acting again in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, a film which like most that were in production earlier this year, has been seriously delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooper’s much anticipated return to the screen will see him back for the first time since 2018’s A Star Is Born which not only was his directorial debut, but a role that landed him a thoroughly deserved Best Actor nomination. His charismatic screen presence and choice of interesting projects over the years is always something to get excited for. This, twinned with the ‘event movie’ feeling of a new Paul Thomas Anderson film, is a truly mouth-watering combination of director and lead actor, and another cause to be optimistic in this bleak, disrupted time for cinema.

Words by Ed Budds

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