While it did not win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice did an excellent job bringing Thomas Pynchon’s words to life with the same stoned, flippant, and oddly melancholic spirit as the book. In fact, it’s rumored that Anderson started off his adaptation by re-typing the entire book, word for word, and then proceeded from there. The result was a humorous, if occasionally and purposefully confusing, story with characters that breeze in and out of the narrative while private detective Doc navigates the worlds of the squares, the going-out-of-vogue hippies, and nefarious criminal organizations.
Good news then for those interested in either tying up loose ends they may have missed upon first viewing, or who simply want to see how Anderson writes films he plans on making: The entire script for Inherent Vice is now online to read and download (legally). The PDF can be found here, and readers will notice how much of the text is large blocks of fast-talking jive loaded with exposition that either ends up coming in to play or not at all. Also of note is how sparse of detail much of the script is, without too much description for the characters or the locations—although there are notations about the different camera angles and shots that Anderson would eventually incorporate into his final version.
It’s a helpful guide for those that want to go over the rapid fire dialogue and unfurl the story, and it’s a unique insight into the process of adaptation and writing by one of the most impressive filmmakers working today.