Reese Witherspoon Walks the Line With Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Inherent Vice’

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk

June Carter will reunite with Johnny Cash as Reese Witherspoon is set to join her "Walk the Line" co-star Joaquin Phoenix in "Inherent Vice," director Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's noir mystery mindbender.

"Inherent Vice" follows the exploits of Larry 'Doc' Sportello (Phoenix), an eccentric L.A. private investigator who receives a surprise visit from his ex-girlfriend, Shasta Fay Hepworth, who's now the mistress of real estate mogul Mickey Wolfmann. Shasta asks for Doc's help in foiling a plot conjured by Wolfmann's wife, Sloane, and her lover, Riggs Warbling, to have Mickey thrown in a mental asylum. Complications ensue against the backdrop of the arrest and trial of the Manson Family from the winter of 1969 through the summer of 1970.

According to Deadline, Reese Witherspoon is joining the production in an unspecified role, though we have a feeling that her casting means the long-rumored involvement of Charlize Theron with the project is now null and void. Witherspoon joins an ever-growing and ever-more-intriguing cast, which includes Jena Malone as a former drug addict who enlists Doc's services, Benicio Del Toro as Doc's lawyer pal and Owen Wilson, Kevin J. O'Connor and Martin Short in unspecified roles.

Reese Witherspoon received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance as June Carter in "Walk the Line," with Joaquin Phoenix earning a Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Johnny Cash. "Inherent Vice" isn't the only "Walk the Line" reunion for Witherspoon lately, as she's also recently signed on to join director James Mangold's "Three Little Words," the adaptation of Ashley Rhodes-Courter's memoir about her struggles during her nine years in the foster care system.

News of Witherspoon's new gigs comes hot on the heels of her recent drunken run-in with the law, an unfortunate little incident that made the Oscar-winning actress an Internet sensation for at least a day or two.

"Inherent Vice" starts shooting later this month with a look toward a release date as early as sometime in 2014, which would mean there would be merely a two-year gap between "Vice' and PTA's most recent film, "The Master." That hasn't happened since the two years in-between "Boogie Nights" (1997) and "Magnolia" (1999).