Almost Famous, but grittier.
That’s the vibe of the first trailer for Licorice Pizza, the new film from acclaimed writer / director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia). Having debuted exclusively in art house L.A. cinematheques on 35MM film (playing exclusively there for several weeks), the trailer is now available online.
Shot during the fall of 2020 under the working title Soggy Bottom, PTA’s latest plays like a cross between Cameron Crowe coming-of-age nostalgia and a sprawling ensemble Robert Altman cultural satire. Strange as the title sounds, it’s a direct reference to the hip 1970s record store chain of the same name in Southern California.
The two leads are newcomers Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, both of famous pedigrees. Alana is the youngest member of the all-sister rock group Haim (for whom PTA has previously directed music videos) and Cooper Hoffman is the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (veteran of several PTA films including The Master and Boogie Nights).
Cooper Hoffman plays a high school student in 1970s San Fernando Valley pursuing an acting career, while Haim portrays the beguiling, unpredictable young woman he forms a relationship with.
And if you’re wondering what that look is all about for co-star Bradley Cooper , he’s playing a fictionalized version of film producer Jon Peters (or, at least, a character loosely based on him) whose first feature was the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born starring Barbara Streisand. Peters would go on to produce films such as Rain Man, Batman (1989) and The Witches of Eastwick and, coincidentally enough, Cooper would go on to famously direct and star in a fourth version of A Star Is Born in 2018.
The cast for Licorice Pizza also includes Sean Penn, Tom Waits, actor / director Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems, Good Times) and, for the second time, Anderson’s famous comedienne longtime partner Maya Rudolph. She previously appeared in PTA’s Inherent Vice. Also slated are Ben Stiller and PTA alum John C. Reilly, although the size of their roles remains unknown; neither appear in this initial trailer.
Opening to a limited release on November 26, Licorice Pizza will expand nationwide on December 25, 2021.
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