Our long national nightmare of not having any new Paul Thomas Anderson movies is nearly over, as we have the first trailer for his Phantom Thread followup: Licorice Pizza. It’s a spectacular affair, starring Cooper Hoffman (son of the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman) and the feature film debut of Alana Haim (the youngest of the Haim sisters). We’ve also got Bradley Cooper, Maya Rudolph, Sean Penn, Benny Safdie(!) and Tom Waits(!!) so this is quite the star-studded affair by Anderson standards, a man not normally known for his A-list casts.
What’s actually going on in Licorice Pizza? The trailer doesn’t give much away and given Anderson’s generally idiosyncratic plots, it’s not always entirely clear what’s going on even when you’re watching the movie, but as films like There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Phantom Thread make clear, that doesn’t mean they’re not terrific movies. They’ve been known to baffle audiences (and rile Hollywood — his thinly veiled Scientology takedown The Master struggled to find funding) but viewers willing to go along for Anderson’s rides are in for a treat.